Pressures in the Swedish healthcare system as hospital beds become scarce.
Saturday, 28 September 2013
We reported recently that more Swedes were choosing to have their
healthcare needs from abroad, within the EU and identified that long
waiting list in Swedish hospitals was to be blamed.
That view has been bolstered today with the revelation that there are
2,400 fewer hospital beds in Swedish hospitals today compared to ten
years ago, according to figures from the Swedish Association of Local
Authorities and Regions (SKL), reports by various Swedish media sources.
Boasting about good Swedish public finances by the current conservative
government while cutting vital public services has been the rhetoric
for the past 7 years they have been in office and now the effect
has seen Sweden sliding down the table as some of the leading countries
in services such as healthcare.
Sahlgrenska hospitals emergency service / Granscole
By cutting hospital bed, it has led to overcrowding, which in turn has
led to increased deaths. There have also been pressures on the
emergency rooms, propping up a chaotic situations with the care
delivery paths and a poor working environment for staff.
A survey conducted by radio Sweden last fall showed that nearly
500 patients a day were being treated in hospitals that had no place
for them. Over 200 were in the wrong departments because of lack of
space. In January this year, the various county healthcare services in
the country also showed overcrowding, according to a report from the
county council umbrella organization, SKL.
When making comparisons, it has persistently shown that countries of
the OECD are having something of an average 4.9 beds per 1,000
inhabitants, while Sweden only has 2.7.
The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), the
government agency in Sweden which comes under the Ministry of Health
and Social Affairs, and which has the task to oversee the health care
delivery and operations in Sweden argues that lack of fund is not the
reason for the problems. The organisation blames the problems to
hospitals poor management of resources.
That accusation has been countered by pathologist consultant, Michael
Eriksson who heads the care delivery operations in the Skåne region,
He argues that the problems being faced in the Swedish care delivery
system has to do with money "Of course it is about money. It is clear
that the county councils and regions are trying to hold down their rate
as much as possible and chose to prioritize other stuff," he said to
Mikael Eriksson wants the government to create a reward for care
delivery model, i.e. a system in which the state rewards counties that
reduce overcrowding most.
Social Affairs minister, Göran Hägglund doubts the proposal, though it
is under his watch that the crisis in the Swedish healthcare system is
unravelling and he is not coming along with any long standing
I will not rule it out, but we can not have programs for everything
from the national level. Remember that the county councils are
responsible for that. Today there is no money set aside for that
purpose," said Hagglund as reported on radio Sweden.
By Scancomark.com Team
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