Swedish men told to take smear tests

The Local Sweden
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Swedish men told to take smear tests

The Stockholm county health authority (Hälso- och sjukvårdsförvaltningen) has been forced to send out an apology to 2,056 men in the capital and on the Baltic island of Gotland after erroneously calling them to come in for a gynaecological scan.


“We have been sending these letters for twenty years and we despatch 250,000 letters every year. This year, we just sent the same letter to some two thousand men as well by mistake,” Henrik Almkvist of the county health authority told The Local.

Exactly what went wrong is currently under analysis but the mistake was discovered when one of the data bases was updated.

Every year, the authority calls women between the ages of 23 to 60 to their local clinic for a smear test. This year, some men weren’t sorted from the register, as is usually the case, and the letters therefore went out to them too.

“We are conducting an in-depth analysis, making sure that it doesn’t happen again. In a few days we’ll know where in the chain of events it went wrong. It may just have been the human factor,” Almkvist said.

The 2,000 affected men will, however, receive a letter of apology with the instruction to disregard the summons.

This letter may even arrive in their post boxes before the previous one, as it was sent out with first class mail on Wednesday.

If anyone of the called men would turn up at at a clinic despite the letter of explanation, the midwives will be briefed and ready, according to Almkvist.

“It is improbable that they will turn up at a women’s clinic, but if they do, the midwives will have a chat to them and apologize for the inconvenience,” Almkvist told The Local.

Rebecca Martin

Follow Rebecca on Twitter here.


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