More six-hour work days for Swedish hospital

TT/The Local
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More six-hour work days for Swedish hospital
Six-hour work days at Sahlgrenska University Hospital will continue. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall

A Gothenburg hospital has extended its implementation of six-hour work days by an additional year, citing an improved working environment and greater ease of recruitment.


Mölndal Hospital's surgery unit of Sahlgrenska University Hospital's six-hour work day trial had its soft launch in 2014. After a few adjustments the project was running fully by mid-2015.

And the hospital says the test has had a positive effect on both the working environment and the chances of recruiting new staff.

“Now people are knocking on our door and want to come and work here. Our recruitment problems are significantly lower nowadays,” the surgery unit’s manager Anders Hyltander said in a statement.

The project did not meet its productivity targets in its first term, but the hospital management still believes there is an incentive to allow it to continue for another year in an effort to reach those goals.

“My colleagues and I see the development potential for the project in the long run. I am confident that we can reach our goal with a combination of a better working environment and a high capacity to be able to treat more patients,” Hytlander added.

The Mölndal venture is one of several similar pilot studies of a shortened working day going on in Sweden at the moment. Elsewhere in Gothenburg, the Svartedalen nursing home has been trialling six-hour shifts since February 2015, while Sjöjungfrun nursing home in Umeå are also trying out the change.

The initiatives have been far from universally accepted however. Svartedalen’s project was only saved from the axe at the eleventh hour earlier this month, following calls from Sweden’s centre-right opposition party the Moderates to end it early.

READ ALSO: Why Sweden is a long way from six-hour days


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