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Stockholm drops controversial care firm

TT/The Local/dl · 14 Nov 2011, 14:09

Published: 14 Nov 2011 14:09 GMT+01:00

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“As a direct consequence of the recent reports we're abandoning our contract with Carema Care AB. Operations will now come under municipal management,” Stockholm mayor Sten Nordin said during a press conference on Monday.

According to Nordin, revelations about the poor conditions in several Carema-managed elderly care homes in Stockholm demand “radical measures”.

In addition to breaking its agreement with Carema, Stockholm city officials plan to launch a broad review of the city's geriatric care.

“We need to be able to guarantee our citizens safe and secure elderly care,” Nordin said.

A the same time, the Swedish government announced on Monday it was tasking the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) with carrying out an inquiry into whether there are any differences in the quality of care provided by privately- or publicly-run care providers.

“We want to get to the bottom of this,” elderly care minister Maria Larsson said during a press conference.

Justice minister Beatrice Ask explained furthermore that the government will also look into improving protection for whistle-blowers who work for private companies.

“I think that whistle-blowers need better protection in the private sector,” Ask said.

Story continues below…

Carema Care has come in for criticism about the quality of care offered at two elderly care homes in the Stockholm area, Koppargården in the northern suburb of Hässelby-Vällingby, as well as Tallbohov in nearby Järfälla.

The poor conditions, which included shortages of toilet paper and soap and other problems maintaining proper hygiene, were reported by Carema workers to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The municipality of Järfälla has already said it won't renew its contract with Carema.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:29 November 14, 2011 by StuartM
About f****** time. Every municipality in Sweden has to take the services back under direct local democratic control. At least when something happens at a publicly run institution you can vote out the politicians who made the wrong decisions. When it's privately run there's noone who's ever made to take any kind of responsibility since the company is accountable only to a tiny group of shareholders who want to maximise their profits at any cost.
17:00 November 14, 2011 by Prat
It is important to follow-up on broken laws as well, or else the corporation will be seeking indemnity for breach of contract.

Corporations too often break the law & cause great suffering, but are allowed to withdraw or quietly collapse with only an "Ooops"

If laws were broken, the public authority must use heavy fines & claw-back authority to recoup funds already paid and when possible to compensate victims.
18:04 November 14, 2011 by Shibumi
Why is it so hard for people to understand that health and elderly care should not be a for-profit industry?
19:28 November 14, 2011 by Grokh
dont just scrap it , condemn and investigate and dont stop clawing them until all the responsible people are caught and made to respond for their crimes.
20:18 November 14, 2011 by yourkidding
Put it in the hands of Maria Larsson...brilliant! It will be much more "This is unfortunate" and "We are looking into it." and not much ACTUAL looking into it.

Ms. hide her head in the sand Larsson is renounded for doing F all about elderly abuse.
20:55 November 14, 2011 by RobinHood
The best thing about choosing suppliers from the private sector is that if they let you down, you can get rid of them and employ someone better instead. You can not do that if you take it in-house; you are stuck with the useless saps for ever more.

Get it right next time Stockholm. There are loads of good suppliers of geriatric care in Sweden, choose one of them.
08:43 November 15, 2011 by procrustes
Profiting from the misery of others is immoral.

A private institution in a position of public trust is a hardwired case of conflicted interest in which the public is certain to lose. The USA is being taught this very hard lesion; whether they are smart enough/moral enough to learn it remains to be seen.

And, socially condoned immorality is a cancer that ultimately kills its host.

This is not a difficult issue. Those who find the issue difficult have no business holding positions of public trust.
09:42 November 15, 2011 by Åskar
All outsourcing of communal activities, be it transport, care, schools etc, has one main reason: to make them cheaper. This is done by lowering the wages, making people redundant, reusing diapers, whatever, while at the same time the companies providing the services export their profits to some low tax haven. In the end it is always the people who have to use these facilities who pay the price.
09:51 November 15, 2011 by yourkidding
Interestingly, I watched a TV news segment last night and when Maria Larsson was directly asked the question "Your parents are aged. Will you put them in this care facility?" she sidestepped and avoided the question. When the news caster re-confronted her with "You have not answered the question, yes or no, if you would place your parents in this care facility?" she changed the subject. Hmmmmmm, do I detect guilt perhaps by her avoidence?
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