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Docs thought pneumonia was anxiety, woman dead

The Local · 17 Jul 2012, 18:19

Published: 17 Jul 2012 18:19 GMT+02:00

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The incident occurred in December last year after the woman had initially visited doctors at a clinic in Förslöv, southern Sweden, where doctors noted that she was coughing, had fever, and a high sedimentation rate.

The doctor prescribed antibiotics for what was considered to be a throat infection. But back at home afterwards, the woman’s husband noticed that her condition was deteriorating and after three days he took her to a weekend and evening emergency ward in Ängelholm.

The woman was giving calming tablets for what doctors considered to be a panic attack and was sent home with no further tests being taken on her pulse, blood pressure, lung status, breathing frequency, or temperature, according to the Helsinglands Dagbladet newspaper.

The woman died that night of what an autopsy revealed was double pneumonia.

Now, the incident has been reported to the Socialstyrelsen which considers that “in the current case, a prescription of [the drug] Sobril cannot be considered to in accordance with the knowledge and proven experience”.

The doctors at the emergency ward blame the lack of inter-ward patient records to be the problem, claiming that they would have acted differently had they had access to the 55-year-old’s patient records.

However, the Socialstyrelsen has stated that this is no excuse, and blamed the head of the hospital as well as the medical system used by the Ängelholm clinic.

They added that shared patient records would improve patient treatments and directed criticism toward the clinic in Förslöv as well.

Story continues below…

However, the national board did not consider the situation to be so extreme as to issue a warning to anyone involved.

TT/The Local/og


The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:30 July 17, 2012 by G Kin
OMG. And the "doctors" are suppose to be some of the best in the world...given the claim that Sweden has one of the best healthcare systems in the world!.

The other day a woman's child died cos the ambulance waited nearly 2 hours to show up while she was being asked what her SKIN COLOUR is!.

Oh great!.
19:51 July 17, 2012 by cupidcub
Take rest is the only advise Swedish doctors give!
19:56 July 17, 2012 by anna olsen
I have the same problem, where I go they say everything is OK, but I am getting worse and worse. I dont know where to go!!!!!
21:14 July 17, 2012 by libertarianism
Re 3, perhaps you might consider seeing a private doctor outside of Sweden? I and many others have been forced to do this in order to receive care. Your health and your life is precious. Don't entrust these to people who don't care about you.
21:38 July 17, 2012 by wxman
The best healthcare in the world?? I guess that's why people from every country in the world always go to the US for quality care. But never fear, once Obamacare takes effect in 2014, we too will have the "best healthcare in the world" just like sweden!
23:30 July 17, 2012 by cattie
"It was not our fault, it was a communication break-down"


She was so upset that she was not getting medical care that they gave her anxiety tablets to "take it easy" and not bother them with her health concerns.
04:26 July 18, 2012 by G Kin

I guess you aren't one of the over 15 million people in America that can't even aford to have any form of healthcare no matter how bad it is. (Well untill they arrive at the emergency room half dead !).

If you look at the country as a whole and not just those who are doing well and can aford it, then it is hard to completely criticize Obamacare. Sweden is still doing pretty well despite these mistakes which do occour in the US as well. Can't blame Obamacare for that can you?.
08:35 July 18, 2012 by orangetree
In Sweden even in one county, they have many different health record systems-so when you go to a doc in a different hospital,they start all over again. Esp if you are in emergency,this means death.

Plus swedish nurses should learn to talk with patients when they first arrive. You go there with a very high pulse as a pregnant woman. And they insist that you should wait to see the doc for pulse check for an hour. This is crazy!Any idiot can check a pulse and blood pressure in 3 min but Swedish nurses say NOOOO!! You should wait doc!!I reminded them they are risking health. Patients first conditon and 1h later condition may not be the same. But they say NO!!
09:08 July 18, 2012 by Swedishmyth
Go private. They lose customers if they don't deliver. Tax funding = guaranteed salary regardless of conduct and performance.
09:15 July 18, 2012 by Migga
@ orangetree

So you have visited with every swedish nurse?

People make mistakes every day, they are only human. That includes doctors. You never hear a story when a doctor saves a persons life, only when they make mistakes.
10:42 July 18, 2012 by anonymous4
Sounds just like when I went to the Emergency Room when I was in the USA. A man there was left holding part of his finger which had been severed in hopes of it being reattached. After an hour in the waiting room unattended, he took off to another hospital still bleeding profusely. Hope he lived.
11:29 July 18, 2012 by DoobieDucksDiscoBus
Well there's a surprise...

I became ill about 4 weeks ago and after suffering a 40 degree fever for days I finally got to a doctor who did some tests and an Xray and told me I had pneumonia. Antibiotics and rest for two weeks and I was fine.

But then my partner started to show the same exact same symptoms so I went with them to the doctor to explain that I had had pnemonia. No tests just prick blood test and no xray and generic antibiotics given.

A week later we're on our way to the UK and she's not feeling better at all. In fact she got progressivly worse. After 3 days of watching her suffer I gave up and rang NHS Direct for advice.

There was an ambulance there to collect her within 10 minutes...

Long story short - taken to A&E in the UK, blood tests, blood oxygen tests, cultures taken, ECG, Xray, drip fluids and antibotics and kept in for 3 days for observation. Turns out she too had double pnemonia and was close to becoming very ill indeed.

I've been in Sweden 10+ years and I have never been happy with the healthcare I've received here. Doctors just don't seem to care and can't be bothered to do thorough examinations and tests. As mentioned earlier it's all "take two and call me in the morning."

And lord help you if you end up in an A&E. Three times it's happened to me and they keep you waiting for hours and when you are seen you're left somewhere for what seems like eternity with no information. Compare that with our experience in the UK where a new doctor or nurse came by every 20 mins or so, introduced themselves, explained exactly what they were going to do and actually asked how we were. Heck we even got offered a cup of tea within 10 minutes of arriving.

Say what you will but I won't hear a bad word about the NHS compared to Swedish healthcare.
11:43 July 18, 2012 by orangetree

I had been in emergency once again with high fever and deadly pain. My fever was so high that I had strange illusions. I told again nurse that I am getting severe.. Guess what happened? No nurse checked my body temp even. Then laterly when doc checked, they transfered me in a private room and fever was due to lung infection..

But I waited 3 hours with shivering and begging for a blanket in a cold waiting room. Doc was really good but this shouldnt be the welcome of a patient who asks immediate help.

I guess it is an attitude.
12:02 July 18, 2012 by robban70226
What!!! ''did not consider the situation to be so extreme´´ What do it tak in this culture tho get their head out of their @ss, and sccept that it is a shame what is going on every day, same as the ''emergency service 112, bunch of incompetent idiots!!! another person died!!!
12:09 July 18, 2012 by Tennin
They're paid to not do their job. Testing, x-rays etc costs the kommun money, which they don't want to spend. Recently in the papers where I live, the local kommun, (whom I had issues with), kept giving anti biotics to two chicks who actually were suffereing from cancer. One woman even told them she thought she had cancer, but the docs told her what does she know. They both ended up in the ER months later and found out they had cancer, and were in serious condition.

I went back home to seek proper health care, after two years fiddling with the idiots here. My husband's thinking of signing up for private healthcare.
12:10 July 18, 2012 by kenny8076
GKIN thats absurd, you can go to the emergency room ANY time you want in America. it is against the law in ANY state to turn down a patient whether or not they provide insurance information. YES you will receive a hefty bill in the mail but you will still be treated to world class healthcare.

5 years ago i fell down the stairs, dislocated 2 fingers, broke my wrist, my nose, knocked out a tooth, and banged my face up..... i went to the doctors with no insurance or dental and got everything taken care of in about 3 hours. X-rays, cast, located my fingers into position, and a new tooth. 3 weeks later i got a bill for $6200 in the mail. had i have insurance it would have been cheaper but it doesn't matter because i worked a payment plan out with the hospital based on my salary and bills to a reasonable monthly installment....... so everyone needs to calm down with this "Americans don't have insurance OMG there all dieing", its so embarrassing.
12:21 July 18, 2012 by robban70226
the problem in Sweden is that the system is designed so that nobody is responsible or accounted for their stupidity's, the ''doctors'' should be charged for manslaughter or malpractice, but the system covers itself by getting immunity for it, a few good ''ambulance chaser'' lawyers wont hurt here
12:22 July 18, 2012 by ZenMonk
I wonder what these lex maria reports have ever led to?
13:31 July 18, 2012 by Migga
@ orangetree

So based on your single experience you judge the entire system and all the nurses?
13:37 July 18, 2012 by seychelle_18
I am going out of Sweden in December and planning to have a general check up in other country since healthcare in Sweden is quite unreliable. I wonder if I could reimburse all my related medical expenses in Sweden since I pay my tax here and I am entitled to a good healthcare that I should get
13:48 July 18, 2012 by EP
Friend injured her neck playing football some years ago, took her to the emergency. She had x-rays. Then we waited 7 hours for a doctor to look at the results ... reason for the wait? Vacation period and the doctors were on vacation and not enough staff. Moral of the story: avoid sports and injury in Sweden, particularly during summer vacations ...
16:39 July 18, 2012 by krrodman
The problem with health care in Sweden is very very simple. I was taught from the very first day of medical school that while common things are common, a doctor must always suspect, test, and eliminate the possibility that the patient is suffering from a rare medical condition. For example, a simple cough is usually from a common virus, but heart failure may also present as a simple cough. It is very very expensive to practice medicine with an eye toward finding the exceptional medical diagnoses.

Sweden takes the opposite approach. A cough is nothing more than a cough until the patient's condition demands further evaluation. This approach works most of the time, and saves a huge amount of money.

By the way, the idiots in Angleholm did not need the old records to make a proper assessment. What a bunch of crap! A patient comes in into a medical clinic in a high anxiety state and they decide she is having an anxiety attack. Hey, a**holes, she was anxious because she was suffocating from her pneumonia! No vital signs. No physical exam. They failed this patient in every way.

I will tell you what the National Board of Health will say about this case: They will review all of the records and proclaim that her pneumonia was so advanced that nothing could have been done for the patient. Then they will give the doctors and nurses at the clinic a medal for not wasting precious health care dollars on a lost cause.

What a bunch of crap!
17:30 July 18, 2012 by FireBoy
and all of a sudden , they allocate 40 MSEK for women immigrants!: " The new proposal is expected to cost 40 million kronor ($5.7 million):
20:13 July 18, 2012 by tadchem
'Worst doctor in Norway' working in Sweden

Published: 23 May 10 10:19 CET

Online: http://www.thelocal.se/26802/20100523/

A surgeon who lost the right to operate in Norway after 29 cases of malpractice is working unhindered at a hospital in northern Sweden, where managers were previously unaware of her error-strewn past.

Evidently she gave up the national title of "Worst" when she started competing against Swedish doctors.
21:19 July 18, 2012 by Amabedi
NewsID: 42078

URL: http://www.thelocal.se/42078/#comments


Comment: I am a retired GP and I have NEVER given any patient a prescription without examining them clinically. All patient encounters should include:

1. Taking A HISTORY from the patient or someone close to her should she be unable to give it herself. I used to teach younger doctors and students that: "The patient will always tell you what is wrong if only you take the trouble to listen". If the doctor(s) involved bothered to take a history, the outcome would probably have been different. Even if she had a sore throat initially (most are viral and do not require antibiotics anyway), all doctors should know that a sore throat can lead to pneumonia.

2. A brief general examination i.e. Swelling of the ankles (I list it first because I always do it first), temperature, pulse rate and blood pressure (nowadays done by a portable battery operated device that all doctors and clinics have), oxygen saturation (done by clipping a small device to one of the patient's fingers just after fitting the blood pressure machine), a quick feel for swollen glands below the jaw, a quick look in the throat and ears (especially if the patient is a child), a quick listen to the heart for irregularities and abnormal heart sounds, a quick feel of the abdomen to check whether the liver and spleen are enlarged and for general tenderness or masses anywhere in the abdomen AND A LISTEN TO THE CHEST WITH A STETHOSCOPE and checking for swelling of the skin of the lower back (especially if the patient has been lying in bed for a while). 3.

3. A specific examination of the organ system involved determined by the main reason the patient came to see the doctor on this occasion. There is really NO need to have the patient records available and this is NO EXCUSE WHASOEVER as it is more relevant if the patient is suffering from a chronic disease or had an operation somewhere else. It takes more time to study the notes than doing a proper thorough clinical examination.All the above should not take longer than 5 - 10 minutes.

Whilst I do not think the doctor(s) involved should have their names removed from the register, I think it is a disgrace that nothing was done about it.

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04:46 July 19, 2012 by G Kin

Yes, one can go to the emergency room in the US but when one is inches away from death, right?. Those who really care about their health sick treatment in time not as a last resort from death!.

" "Americans don't have insurance OMG there all dieing", its so embarrassing. "

America is the only rich country in the world with so many people without health insurance. That is a fact. Perhaps you are out of touch with the reality of the poor in your society (asuming you are American). You would rather spend billions on your millitary than see to it that the poor are also cared for ( that will be welfare; a word most of you do not want to hear!). Of course Obamacare will inflate the government debt but millitary spending wouldn't.
09:26 July 19, 2012 by cogito
@ G Kin.#26. You really don't know what you're talking about, do you?

People turn up in the emergency room with a routine headache or an ingrown toenail. True, in cities like Chicago, such frivolous abusers of Emergency might have to wait until all the those bleeding from gun-shot wounds and knife stabbing are treated first. But the wait won't be longed than the 7-12 hour waits in a typical Swedish ER.

The "poor" without insurance are often young men who preferred to spend on a Mercedes or two, a beach house or two, and a Rolex or two. They could easily afford medical insurance but really would rather buy a boat.

Then there are hundreds of thousands of women from across the border who turn up at the ER to give birth to "anchor babies" and gain immediate citizenship for the newborn.
09:46 July 19, 2012 by asdfg
@anna olsen.

I really suggest you to go abroad.

I always go to Italy. Italy has excellent doctors and it is usually cheap, but on the other hand the system is really chaotic and it might be difficult to use it if you don't know an Italian and nearly impossible if you cannot speak Italian.

Finland is another good option: doctors there are good and above all it is close to Sweden.

A friend of mine goes to Germany, since he often works there and he's very satisfied.

France should be another good option, but I've never tried.

Note that you can apply for complete reimbursement from... I think is Försäkringskassan (sorry but it's always my girlfriend who takes care of this, I can let you know if you need it).

I don't think it's worth to fight to get healthcare in Sweden. I basically don't know anyone who had a good experience with Swedish healthcare system (apart from the dental care which was pretty good, I have to say). My impression is that, on top of crazy rules (they don't even know what prevention is), the main problem is that the quality of the medical training at the university is scarily low. They don't know what to do even when they do want to help you.

Don't risk your life or lifelong consequences, take a plane.

Best wishes, hope you get better
10:33 July 19, 2012 by cogito
@anna olsen: What #28 said. Get out of Sweden if you can. My family has used health services, including emergency care, in France, Italy and the U.S.

All were far superior to Sweden.

Maybe if those, like Migga, ceased defending a system where the elderly in nursing homes are eaten by maggots and have vomit stuffed back in their mouth, Sweden might try to be motivated to fix its shoddy healthcare.
17:29 July 19, 2012 by kenny8076
GKIN again your comments are absurd,, yes i am american and clearly you are not! ANYONE can go to the emergency room for ANY reason. i thought i made that clear in my first post..... my mom used to take me to the ER for slight fevers when i was a kid....., i have gone to the ER for snipping the tip of my finger and got a little bandage...... Its the ignorance of Europe that scares me and as said before, embarrassing......

and poor people DO have healthcare in Medi-caid..... whom i have had friends with kids on and it worked just fine for them, See in America we have this thing most Europeans do not understand and its called RESPONSIBILITY...... if you want insurance you have it, if you cant afford it you find a job that provides, if you have no job you get medi-caid.....

we have the BEST medical facilities in the world and the BEST medicine practice in the world BECAUSE we pay for it. countrys like Sweden are limited as to how much they spend on health because it is limited to tax revenue..... being spread out as thin as possible to babysit and nurture this entire culture of fika breakers and complainers
18:22 July 19, 2012 by G Kin

You paint a very rosy image of healthcare and Medi-caid in America. If Medi-caid worked so well why is Obama and the Democrats fighting to make Healthcare available to all; especially the MILLIONS that do not have healthcare insurance?. Why are they fighting if it didn't matter?. Of course if you have a little fever and run to the emergency room, they will help you. Even I will help you in my house!.

How about those refused insurance coverage cos of pre-existing conditions?. Would you blame that on irresponsibility?.

I read a story not too long ago about someone in need of an organ who was refused the transplant cos he didn't have healthcare insurance. Are you aware of such cases?.

Or people that lost homes or went bankrupt simply because they got sick and had to pay huge sums of money?. In Sweden they would at least receive the poor quality healthcare.

Government should do for people what they can't do for themselves and because people have not done it doesn't mean they are responsible.

And please do not call Swedes names ( fika drinkers!). As a people they do relatively well compared to Americans as a people. I suspect some of you just do not think a cross section of the poor in your society is deserving of the help they are due from society!.
20:03 July 19, 2012 by libertarianism
Re 31, People in Sweden are routinely denied ANY healthcare, even the most simple and basic of services, and plenty of people are permantly maimed and die because of it. No different than the eugenics programs of the past where "problem" people were sterilized. Today, the "problem" people are left to die. Never for a second believe that a government, especially the "fika drinkers" government, cares if you live or die. Whether socialized healthcare or warfare, we are always expendable, and there are a gazillion religious breeders enthusiastically pumping out your replacement. True story!
21:10 July 19, 2012 by cogito
#31 "why is Obama and the Democrats fighting to make Healthcare available to all?"

Why? Votes. Power. Control. It's called Politics.

"I read a story…" .Do you believe everything you read?

I read that Swedes are a nation of suicidal drunks. If I read it, it must be true, right?

You may have read a story, but I am personally acquainted with a woman, 40 years old, who desperately needed a kidney. She had waited so long in Sweden she would have surely died before reaching the age of 41. She went to the U.S. and got her kidney. A group of American philanthropists paid for it.

"Or people that lost homes or went bankrupt..."

Was it their second or third home? Going bankrupt no big deal in the U.S. It is a popular way to dodge your debts. Swedish taxes mean that many never have a home to lose. They rent.

"...your society is deserving of the help they are due from society."

Deserving? Due? Huh?
22:15 July 19, 2012 by Migga
@ cogito

So it`s the health care system that stuff vomit back in their mouth and not a sick individual? If one goes by your view then noone is held accountable. It`s always the systems fault. No individual has to take any blame.

Where is your input about the care that works in the system? Where is your comments about the majority of cases where elderly are being taken care of or the sick healed. It`s clear that you yourself have had no major experience of the system. If all your experience of the system consists of your friends story or the articles in the news then it`s no wonder that you have such a twisted view of it.
09:18 July 20, 2012 by cogito

My "input?" What on earth do you mean?

Unlike you, I have not made it my mission to defend a system that is incapable of delivering basic services. That is, when it is not permanently maiming and killing patients. (see comment #32 above or do a simple search, here on TL or through the Swedish papers.)

The stories of shoddy Swedish healthcare are too numerous to count.

The best input is to expose the negligence and indifference in Swedish healthcare in the hopes that they will be shamed into fixing it.

"It is clear..."

How is it "clear?" What is clear is that your nationalism knows no bounds.

"If all your experience..."

My experience is based on 15 years with Swedish non-health-non-care, compared to excellent care received in the rest of Europe and the U.S.
16:59 July 20, 2012 by rubble
@ libertarianism and gogito: You 2 are shills, especially libertarianism. Each year, in the USA, there are over 225,000 deaths from iatrogenic (doctor-caused) cases. One of the reasons you hear so much about Swedish health care tragedies is that they are relatively low, especially compared to the USA (doctor-caused death in USA is the 3rd-leading cause of mortality in the States).

Also, the myth 'all the world comes to the USA for health care if they can afford it' is utter rot. Many other countries are extraordinarily advanced in healthcare, in many specific disease arenas BEYOND the rate of cure in the US. The US has not just 50 million+ uninsured, but also has millions who've been bankrupted by HUGE health care bills. In many areas, health care bills are the #1 cause for bankruptcy.

ObamaCare is a joke. It is a huge gift to the hospitals & insurance companies, as it will force 30 million to purchase a for-profit PRIVATE product. The good things, like no more denial of insurance for pre-existing conditions do not kick in till 2014, and will be whittled away by the big insurance, hospital, and pharma firms, as these systemic controllers WROTE so much of the ObamaCare regulations themselves.

As for free market, the US is a joke. Obamacare does NOTHING in terms of pharma cost-containment. The US government is still barred by law from paying a scale-of-economy fair price for the billions in drugs it buys each year. Here in Sweden, a 10 month regimen for a two-pronged liver treatment drug costs the government 7,600 dollars US. The US government, thru Medicaid and Medicare, pays over $126,000 US for the EXACT same drugs. Until you remove the 'for-profit' matrix from the foundational make-up of a vital RIGHT, the USA will spiral out of control in costs, and this WILL bankrupt the country.

There already is corporate fascism, w/ the oligarchs using the coercive power of a bought-and-paid-for state to destroy all competition, but if the libertarians (funded and founded as the 3rd part of a 3-legged stool-of-tyranny by the same network of banksters in the City of London starting in the 1880's, rapidly expanding in the 1910 to 1940 period) have their way, it will be 10 times worse as there will be no public answer to the corporate control. Capitalism (both Keynesianism and Supply-side, communism, and finally Austrianism (libertarian 'free market') are all mug's games for ponces. All were funded as methodology of systemic power control and consolidation under the modern international money-changer sytstem.

Call it the 3rd way Swedish model, or the 'American system' of Alexander Hamilton, et al., or the dirigisme of Charles DeGaulle, the key is to have a strong national state that is able to marshal the sphere of human-sustaining grand infrastructures for the public good, not for the feeding of the banking/multinational beasts, nor for a totalitarian state (Stalin), nor the authoritarian capitalism of the current Chinese model.
17:40 July 20, 2012 by Timien
Today I can only say unfortunately that nothing surprises me.

Having been really ill for more than two years and getting nowhere with the Doctors in Sweden who refused to believe I was ill, I paid £300. (3010kr) to see a top Neurologist in the UK at the leading hospital of Neurology in London.

The Neurologist and his team were horrified as to how I was being treated in Sweden, the lack of treatment and refusal to refer me to a Neurologist for help. Having read the evaluations carried out on me in Sweden he was amazed at how the Swedish doctor and Vårdcentralen staff had come up with the diagnosis they had.

Having carried out his own evaluations he promptly informed me what he suspected was actually wrong and told me all the tests that needed to be carried out and if I did not receive the right treatment would end up severely disabled.

On return to Sweden I made another appointment with my doctor who told me he didn't believe that I'd had the appointment and only on proof would he refer me to a Neurologist.

I contacted the Vårdcentralens Area Regional Manager and explained the situation only to be told, and I quote "If you don't like the treatment here you are free to find another Vårdecentralen."

So not only has my health really gone downhill, I am still not properly diagnosed after 2 years, the staff at the Vårdecentralen are all trying to cover their backs with lies and Forsäkringskassan is demanding that I change jobs, retrain and return to work even though Arbetsförmedling who have read all my medical notes have said that there is no way I will be able to work for many years, if ever again and with my medical situation as it is, I am actually unemployable.

As you can imagine this has led to a 2 year battle with Forsäkringskassan in trying to get sick pay /pension and having to try and deal with all of this when you are severely ill has been an absolute nightmare.

Now Patientsnämnden (The Patients Ombudsman) has advised me to report it all to Socialstyrelsen (The Govenment Dept for Social Health).

People are today suffering needlessly as people don't care and sadly those that do are not in a position to do anything about it!

Re-imbursement from Försäkringskassan for the consultants £300. fee ..... what do you think!
18:39 July 20, 2012 by cogito
@rubble (#36)

I usually stop reading at the first sign of paranoia (who am I supposed to be "shilling" for?) or when a rambling rant resorts to "fascism," (especially when used incorrectly).

Nevertheless, you make a couple of good points: for example, you are correct that Obamacare is the corrupt product of crony capitalism, and it will bankrupt the U.S. Nor will it correct the failures, which are few, relatively speaking, once you factor in demographics.
22:52 July 20, 2012 by asdfg
I just feel like reporting a few (among many) examples of no-health care in Sweden.

Before I start, I say that, so far, among the people I know, no one has ever had a decent experience with the Swedish healthcare system (I repeat, apart from the dental care, which I found good).


I went to the emergency because of an internal hemorrhage due to an already diagnosed (not in Sweden) disease that got worse in the previous days. The doctor found the hemorrhage and prescribed some medicines (later my specialist in Italy commented that they were a joke), but he forgot to send the communication to the pharmacy. Two days after I went to the Vårdecentralen and the doctors treated me like a depressed person who was "seeking for a way to spend the day and was wasting their time". Nonetheless they decided to take a blood sample, "just to make me feel better". In the afternoon the doctor called me, saying that he was sorry and that they found that my hemoglobin was below the lowest acceptable level and... guess what was his brilliant idea... I should have gone back in 5 days for a new check! Since I was kind of enjoying my life and it was not in my immediate plans to die young, the day after at 7 in the morning I took a plane and flew to Italy where I obviously got an emergency surgery. Now, not thanks to the Swedish healthcare system I'm fine.


My girlfriend has been suffering from sinus infection (a pretty nasty but basic and common disease). For the previous 2 years she has been having headaches almost everyday. She went to Vårdecentralen and various specialists more than 10 times (5 times only after we got together). Every time they were saying that... again guess what... that she was depressed and everything was fine! One of the last times, she was lucky enough that one doctor prescribed her Xrays and sent her to a new specialist. When I saw the xrays it was obvious even to me that on one side there was something clearly wrong (one side was white the other completely black, you don't really need to be scientist to reach that conclusion). The nice thing is that the specialist, when she saw the xrays, said that everything was ok and that most probably that was allergy (in January!). In this case it was obvious she didn't want to cure her. Well I got pissed and forced her to go to a specialist in Finland. The specialist basically screamed at her because she had let the disease to get this bad and got the surgery and now... magic... she is fine.
18:29 July 21, 2012 by Migga
@ cogito

Justified criticism is more then welcome but braindead bashing is of no use. It becomes ovbious that is all you do when I point it out and your comeback is to say that I`m brainwashed or nationalistic.

For every case that a mistake has been made there is numerous cases where everything went fine. As it is now people only focus on the bad cases, generalie and then start bashing. There is no discussion about what is working or how to make things better, only hate.
11:15 July 22, 2012 by asdfg
Sorry the list was not finished:


A friend of mine has been complaining for being tired, headaches and muscles contractions and muscle pain. For two years he has been going to the doctors many times trying to understand what was wrong but the doctors were just saying he was depressed. Unfortunately all the symptoms were getting worse and worse. Well, in the end he diagnosed his disease himself: borrelia, a pretty common disease in Sweden and especially in our area. He went to Germany and for the past year and a half he has been taking medicines, since if not cured in an early stage this disease gets pretty nasty. He feels way way better but most probably he will have to carry on standing some of the symptoms for the rest of his life.


Just to be short, another friend of mine got an stomach infection when she was young. She was puking and had high fever for weeks. I let you wonder what was the diagnosis. Well, now her stomach is destroyed and she has to live with it.


By the way don't make the mistake that these were the only bad experiences. I just reported a few. I repeat I don't know anyone who has had a good experience.

Yes there is hate, because I've seen my life and the life of people close to me being strongly negatively affected and I'm trying to save other people from doing similar mistakes.

What is good about the healthcare system is that the organization is simple and very efficient (and this extends to all the bureaucracy). Hospitals are also usually nice and clean, but the instruments are outdated.

Ways to make things better:

#1 I have the impression that every time a patient arrives and report symptoms they assume he is lying. I think doctors in Sweden are taught so. This is insane and has to be stopped immediately.

#2 University in Sweden is easy (I can tell in my field and few other). That is a good choice for many fields, but not for medical doctors. They are evidently undertrained (at least the ones that I've met so far). They also tend to use outdated treatments (because they are cheaper).

#3 They are pushed to save money, but I would say in a stupid way: they prefer not to cure the disease in the early stage and let it evolve. Prevention in most cases is the cheapest way to go (and the best for the patient).

If you don't let politicians to hear your voice and your complaints, nothing will ever change. Sweden is a nice country, but not everything is good. And we can make it better by asking.
Today's headlines
This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

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12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

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Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

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