Covid-19 forces Swedish hospitals to delay ‘necessary surgery’

Covid-19 forces Swedish hospitals to delay 'necessary surgery'
Uppsala's Akademiska hospital has had to delay necessary surgery. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT
Hospitals across Sweden are now postponing urgent operations to make room for coronavirus patients, a survey by Sweden's state broadcaster SR has found.
Every one of the country's 21 regional healthcare authorities reported being in a “strained” or “very strained” situation, with the regions of Jönköping and Uppsala telling SR that they were having to postpone urgent operations on cancer or heart patients. 
 
“It may actually be cancer surgery that has to wait for a bit right now,” Uppsala's health and medical care director, Mikael Köhler, told the broadcaster. 
 

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“We need to do everything we can to prevent harm that could have been avoided, and, in the long run, deaths. We really shouldn't end up in that kind of situation, but we are starting to get close to it.” 
 
Jönköping, like Uppsala, said that it was delaying urgent cancer surgery and heart operations, with the region's medical director Mats Bojestig telling SR that it plans to trigger the crisis clause agreed with unions which will allow it to increase health personnel's working hours. 
 
“This feels absolutely necessary if we're going to be able to carry out more operations than before, because otherwise we think local residents are going to harmed,” he said.  
 
Uppsala has already triggered the crisis clause. In Skåne, urgent operations have had to be moved between hospitals, delaying procedures.  
 
 
 

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