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Swedish nurses up in arms over doc's extra pay

TT/Rebecca Martin · 11 Jan 2012, 07:33

Published: 11 Jan 2012 07:33 GMT+01:00

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“We don’t begrudge doctors earning money. But we are upset that they get it all and we get nothing,” said nurse Ulrika Håkansson to local paper Östgöta Correspondenten.

Urban Säfvenberg, who heads the hospital’s ER unit, understands that the nurses are upset but stressed that the payment the doctor received over Christmas follows deals struck between the county council and the physicians’ unions.

“This is nothing that I have negotiated,” he told the paper.

The doctor got called in on short notice and is be paid double the normal fee for that day, according to union agreements.

On top of that, physicians are paid extra over the holidays, which led to the doctor in question getting six times his hourly wage as an incentive to work overnight on Christmas.

The nurses, on the other hand, were told they had to work.

There aren’t enough experienced nurses to go around, and despite having worked last Christmas and being scheduled to work on New Year’s, Håkansson was told she was obliged.

The nurses who were drafted in were given 40 kronor extra per hour - at total of 440 kronor - to change their schedule to work overnight at Christmas rather than a regular night.

Story continues below…

According to Håkansson, it seems obvious that doctors get their demands met as the county council are loathe to lose them.

“Why does no one seem to care about the bad conditions making experienced nurses leave their jobs?” she asked the paper.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:47 January 11, 2012 by HYBRED
The nurse's here are overworked and could have used some extra pay. However doctors are a little higher in the food chain, and are overworked as well.
09:13 January 11, 2012 by engagebrain
the doctor on call received an extra 30 000 for the christmas weekend

that is more than the average monthly wage
09:59 January 11, 2012 by StockholmSam
Occupy ER!
10:54 January 11, 2012 by lahlily
calling all swedish nurses: go to the US ... my aunt makes 70,000 usd as a RN in a smalltown hospital in the south and my mom, an RN too, makes 50,000 working in the local University clinic.
11:29 January 11, 2012 by Puffin
Well the amount for the doctor seems very strange - however there are a few things that the article didn't really clarify:

- was this a doctor on the staff or an agency doctor? If you call a medical stffing agency at short notice you are going to pay HUGE amounts than it was a doctor on staff

- how long did the doctor work? Most nursing shifts are limited to 8 hours - but I personally know of some hospitals require doctors to work 25 hour shifts on weekends and holidays

- was this a flat rate or pay by results? Many hospitals thought it would be a good way to save money to pay doctors a very low flat rate to be at the hospital and then pay for each patient seen - but on a really busy shift the costs are dramatically high
13:03 January 11, 2012 by zooeden
Get used to that and less, nurses!!!
13:40 January 11, 2012 by dizzy09
they should look on the bright side that at least they have a job.
14:05 January 11, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
...sounds a bit like a latter-day version of Aesop's fable "The Lion's Share".....
17:26 January 11, 2012 by Migga
The nurses aren`t up in arms over what the doctors are payed, they are up in arms over what they aren`t payed.
23:07 January 11, 2012 by VicTaulic
Health care costs are driven by greedy nurses and staff. I want the million dollar-a-year surgeon to operate on me, not the 70,000 dollar a year one. As for nurses, I want the prettiest ones, not the ones making the most money.
02:06 January 12, 2012 by Just_Kidding
Educate more doctors if you don't want to beg for their services.
11:16 January 12, 2012 by kenny8076
perhaps if you want to make doctor pay......BECOME A DOCTOR!!!! Swedes kill me with this, always want to be equal to people that have done more and sacrificed more to be where they are..... Doctors went to school longer and they contribute more to society....... thats how things work in the world, you DO MORE you get PAID MORE...
19:24 January 13, 2012 by james_g
Yes, but, kenny8076 old chap, the question is how MUCH more!!!
00:49 January 14, 2012 by kenny8076
@JAMES.... there is no question.... if you want the DOCTOR pay.... become a DOCTOR!!! should a division 4 hockey player be paid the same as an Elitserien player simply because they play the same sport? define more.... would you have been satisfied if it was only the doctor being paid 4 times more instead of 6 times more? the pay IS WHAT IT IS, if you want it..... do what it takes to get it...... dont be a nurse for 15 years when you have had every chance to be more and then get mad when the people that have done more GET more..... like the picture shows on the article..... the nurse is pushing a patient down the hall..... chances are she is pushing the patient to a doctor that is getting ready to do major work on them.... why should pushing a patient to a doctor getting ready to do open heart surgery warrant you to "near same pay"?,,,,, BE A DOCTOR!!!
14:54 January 17, 2012 by si
Ahh Kenny your inconsequencial burblings are completely random. Are you wearing your Maroon hat today ?
14:00 January 19, 2012 by haberdave
Ridiculous decisions are made everyday by intelligent people for many, many unjustified reasons. If you think it's bad in Sweden...be happy...take a look at the United States.
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