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Hospital splashes cash on 'electro-allergy' room

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Hospital splashes cash on 'electro-allergy' room
14:05 CET+01:00
Falköping hospital in southern Sweden recently spent just under a million kronor ($146,130) to have a room adapted to suit the needs of the "electro-oversensitive", despite the fact that the allergy hasn't been scientifically proven to exist.

Since the remodeling was completed about eight months ago, only one patient has used the room, sparking criticism that the money has been wasted.

"It feels like the money could've been used in a better way," paediatrician Mats Reimer told Sveriges Radio (SR), suggesting that it would've been more appropriate to help these people to overcome their belief that their symptoms have anything to do with electricity.

Three percent of Swedes claimed to suffer from electro-oversensitivity when a national survey was conducted in 2007.

Local politician Jonas Andersson is sceptical that the condition really exists, he still felt it's reasonable to satisfy the needs of this "vulnerable group of people" since they clearly suffer, he told SR.

And he's not the only one who thinks that way, according to SR. A number of hospitals around the country have also taken steps to provide havens for those who claim to be sensitive to electricity.

The Local reported in November on a man in the Dalarna region whose alleged allergy almost caused the local authority create a mobile phone "dead zone" in the area near his home, despite experts saying that there are no scientific studies showing that there is such a thing as electro-oversenstivitiy.

Now, eight months after having put in the expensive insulation in the room, critics are saying that the initiative was a waste of the taxpayers' money, but also that it can be considered a disservice to those it's suppose to help.

Reimer claims that giving in to these imagined needs will only exacerbate peoples' irrational fear of electricity.

"This kind of evasive behaviour may give them temporary relief but i the end you are only helping to fan the irrational fear and in the end they will end up in a trailer in the woods with candles and a lantern," he told SR.

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