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Competitiveness / Healthand Welbeing



Growing cases of reported medical errors in Swedish health care system

Monday, 13 May 2013
More and more people in Sweden are reporting cases of mistreated all across the Swedish healthcare system.
According to media reports, the number of complaints received by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) is on the increase.

Susanne Gullack Flyrén, head of one of the units that deal with complaints told media sources that 6700 cases were reported in 2011, last year complaints increased to 7,100 cases, meaning an increase this year. During the first three months of 2013, 200 cases were reported, more than in the same period last year.

In conjunction with the new Patient Safety Act introduced in January 2011, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has the responsibility to investigate complaints against medical officials. But they are also surprise by the increase in the reported cases.

Susanne Gullack Flyrén however believes that the increased notifications are great because they can lead to improvement in management and reduction is such cases in the future, as detection improves. But she thinks that health care should be better able to take care of themselves through the various notifications so that they did not reach the National Board.

This has been criticised by those who feel that there is growing discontent in the Swedish heath care system and which some people feel that it is loosing it stance as one of the most efficient care systems in the world. Beside reports of mistreatment, there are also increase reports of waiting times, bed blocking, length of stay and constrained access to healthcare

Goran Stiernstedt, director of health and Social care within the Local Authorities and Regions, agrees that health care providers  can be better able to manage their own complaints. But he does not see the increase in reports to the National Board as a sign of widespread dissatisfaction with the care system.

"I'm not actually seeing this increase as a reason for self-criticism, because I think that it may have other causes than just a growing discontent," he says.

by Team

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