Today I’m going to tell you what I think of the Swedish health care nowadays. A sad subject unfortunately. I’ll give you some examples (of many!) from around my own social sphere, so this is completely true.

Considering the fact that Sweden is supposed to be such a high educated and wealthy country (not any longer), interested and concerned about health care, it’s unbelievable how our public health care system has grown to become so bad functioning, not efficient and none caring.

Especially since we tax payers are paying so much tax: about 32% of our salaries in tax, depending on how high income we have and where we live. If you have a high income, you’re even paying more than 32% in tax.

The whole Swedish health care system is built up for the public. There isn’t enough private hospitals or private doctors as an alternative as you may see in other countries. With minor sickness we’re ordered to go to the district health care center, which nowadays very often is a catastrophe.

Bad health care story #1

This person has been real sick for 1,5 year now. I can’t give you all details and some might be in the wrong order, because after so long time I’ve started to forget and it’s simply just too much to write here, but enough to get you the picture.

  • Really bad cold (?) – that wouldn’t go away
  • Visit the district health care center – without much result
  • Numerous visits there – no result
  • High blood pressure & pulse – without reason
  • Sky rocketing high blood pressure attacks – hospital emergency
  • Forcing down the blood pressure, sent her home
  • Numerous emergency rides with sky rocketing high blood pressure – home again
  • Mentioning stomach problems and teeth problems – no one cares
  • After 6 months (?!) they do an x-ray – enlargened adrenalin gland
  • Gets blood pressure medicals, nothing more
  • New x-ray after 3 months to check if the gland has grown – it has not, no measure
  • The attacks continue combined with stomach+teeth problems
  • Demands to get antibiotics – better short while
  • Same problems again
  • No antibiotics – then got it for the dog and ate it herself – better for a while
  • Hospital just wanted to get rid of her as fast as possible
  • Directs her to the district health care center who can’t handle unusual cases
  • No other investigations
  • Gradually she got a tiny bit better
  • Sometimes skyrocketing blood pressure, stomach – emergency
  • Only pills, no investigations
  • This autumn worse again – emergency many times
  • Continues for 1,5 year – in-and-out in the hospital like a yo-yo
  • Another city & got pain attacks stomach – end up @hospital there
  • Keeping her there instead of sending her home, interested
  • Getting morphine, checkup, temp, blood tests, ultra sound, x-ray
  • Finding water in her lungs – she gets sulfa
  • Give her drip since she can’t eat
  • Suspects stones in her gall passages too
  • Hospital overloaded send her to the other one (shorter waiting for 2 suggested investigations)
  • Bad hospital don’t check anything
  • Won’t accept good hospitals theories
  • Gastroscopy – but “weren’t sure of what they saw”
  • Treating her with a bad attitude – like all this time
  • Want to kick her out the next day – she hasn’t eaten anything yet!
  • Second message fr good hospital: the test shows a dangerous bacteria
  • Got a referral to good hospital (only because it was a fresh doctor)
  • Took the train to the good hospital ( no transport help)

You wouldn’t even believe some of the extremely idiotic answers or comments she has got from some of the doctors or hospital staff over there! It’s actually terrifying.

This bacteria originates from her bad teeth that can generate diffuse stomach problems too! That bacteria is so dangerous that it literally can eat up your cardiac valves. Lucky enough so was that not the case when they examined her heart. Phew! If there had been the slightest damage there, they had been forced to exchange them!

This hospital will help her with a referral to the hospitals dentist, keep an eye on the bacteria, the gall passages, the adrenalin gland and the orthopaedist will check up of her bad back. (Earlier unsuccessful disk surgery – some people are just born with bad luck…)

She is planning to make an official complaint against that bad hospital for mistreating her during 1,5 year. The health care in her district is well known for bad health care, so it isn’t just her case.

This is no easy case, it consist of several problems, but still, the point is that they shouldn’t kick her out of the hospital time after time and let her be in that condition without further investigations and they should send her to another specialists if they can’t solve it themselves!

Bad health care story #2

Sick history from 2001-2007.

  • Back problem from a wrong lift
  • Couldn’t go straight (for many months!)
  • They just described pills
  • After 3 months (!) got an magnetic camera x-ray
  • Herniated disk, another bulging one+some worned out
  • Physical therapist that mostly made things worse
  • Started with McKenzie exercises found in the internet
  • They actually got the back upright again
  • Other exercises difficult – muscle inflammations
  • Without McKenzie the back would still be in 90 degrees?
  • Got no information from the doctors
  • Chronic back pain
  • Once again: read in the internet all about surgeries
  • No help other than pills that affected stomach or other ill-effects
  • After 2 years (!), a short investigation of status (not properly done!)
  • Ascertained bad back, good mental heath (lol!)
  • Bad prognosis for disk fusion surgery – No thanks
  • Cognitive behavior psychology – No thanks, not the problem
  • After 6 years: pain specialist
  • Result: Back had triggered Fibromyalgia
  • Disregarded back problems
  • Prescribed 3 heavy medications (= drugs) for Fibromyalgia
  • Their bad ill-effects made everything worse
  • No other treatment or investigations
  • Expanded sick leave to Dec 2009 (= 8 years)
  • No treatment or investigations are planned

The most annoying is that if they had ordered that x-ray earlier than after 3 months, the problem would have been known earlier and may have triggered different actions. Then it might not has developed to be chronic and later on not triggered the Fibromyalgia. The physiotherapists should also be more educated in back problems than they are.

What I can’t understand is why they don’t listen to the patients more and in time, they could learn so much from them about all kind of back problems. Now they just call all back problems generally back problems (lumbago) instead of really differentiate them and start to look into every different type of problem.

Bad health care story #3

Same person as above, another sickness. Start 2005.

  • Sudden loss of big amount of hair (big tufts of hair)
  • Very, very tired (read unconscious)
  • District health care center take bloodtests *)
  • Lack of iron localized
  • Prescribed iron pills, difficult to eat, ill effects
  • Forced to go through gastroscopy, anaesthesia (only because a new doctor)
  • Badly hurted throat (open wound) from the gastroscopy
  • No check up of that wound
  • Gastroscopy shows no inside bleeding
  • By now 60 percentage hair loss
  • Tests 3 different iron pills, couldn’t tolerate them
  • The doctor couldn’t care less
  • Doctor refused taking new blood tests to see status
  • Own cure: Blutsaft (iron lemonade) from health food stores
  • Less fatigue & hair loss, but still hair loss
  • Gynecologist (private surgery) takes a lot of blood tests
  • No lack of iron
  • Find too high TSH-values that can develop to struma
  • Recommends check up in every third month @District health care
  • Patient demands checkup after 3 months
  • Still too high, but not high enough for medicines
  • No planned check up…
  • After 2 years: 75 percentage of hair lost

*) Luckily it was not the ordinary doctor, because she would have refused to do the tests! (Has happened before that)

Before the gastroscopy, it was a lot of talk of how important it is to check up a lack of iron. A normal eating person doesn’t get a lack of iron without a cause. Suddenly after the gastroscopy it was not at all important…???

Obviously the doctors at the district health care center have hard restrictions on prescribing lab tests, while the private ones don’t have any restrictions. That’s why it’s so difficult to get them to take tests. But they also have a very bad attitude. Some times it’s like banging ones head in a wall to get any dialog with them….

The high TSH-value may be the cause of the hair loss which the other doctor should have checked too. It’s not unusual and when also having Fibromyalgia it’s not so strange either.

You have to change doctor several times, because they never want to do something, no tests, not listening to the patients at all. I can tell you many, many stories of this.

This procedure that took about 1,5 year could have been done at once by simple blood tests and maybe spared many percentage of the hair – and suffering from more worse fatigue!

Bad health care story #4

This happened during several years until now.

  • Bad health generally
  • Bad stomach problems
  • District health care center don’t listen
  • This goes on during years
  • End up in the emergency with severe lack of blood
  • Cured of lack of blood, but no following up
  • Numerous doctors visits because of stomach problems
  • End up in the emergency which finds a parasite
  • Cured with antibiotics
  • Can’t eat gluten or lactose
  • Starting to get serious mental problem
  • No help from District health care center
  • Serious weight losses, no help
  • Deep psychosis
  • Brought to mental emergency care by family
  • Kept locked in for 10 days
  • Mental drugs with bad ill-effects
  • No mental therapy during this 10 days
  • No place in the mental day care
  • Kicked out with a prescription, no following up
  • Get medicine only because of family
  • Get to local mental care for therapy a couple of times/month (only because of family)
  • Supposed to stop eating mental drugs
  • They stop the local mental care therapy at the same time
  • No following up
  • Family must keep an eye open
  • Mental health start to go bad again

It’s very common that the patient don’t think that he/she needs any mental medication, so to kick out some one like that without even getting a few pills with him/her for the first day and an appointment at the local mental day care institution, is in my world, severe irresponsible.

Actually this is one of the diseases where I would recommend a cognitive behavior psychology treatment already in an early phase, but for these patients it’s very difficult to get. It’s too long waiting lists and the private ones are so expensive so they can’t afford it.

Mental care is a catastrophe. They have cut down the mental care to the size where I refused to call it health care any more. It has shown in the amount of suicides, accidents and violence caused by persons with mental illness.

Teeth are not part of the body?

I’ve never understood why the teeth isn’t considered part of the body when it comes to the health care system. You can get fatal ill from problems with the teeth, so I think it’s definitive should be subsidize as much as any other sickness. That has not been the case.

We’ve had simply awful dentist bills to pay here in Sweden for quite a while now, which has resulted in bad health for the Swedish people, since many haven’t afford going to the dentist.

Reasons for bad health care

The reason for this bad health care is bad policies, bad organize skills, bad routines, bad priorities, bad attitudes (that’s spreading too easily) and the high society stress levels.

The worst thing of all: it’s all about the money nowadays, no one care for the humanity. Humanity should be priority #1, but it’s obviously not the case.

I mean, what could be more important than peoples lives? Bad health care is without doubt influencing peoples lives in a negative way, even in the cases where the sickness isn’t life threatening.

I must end this with the word that there still are some good doctors, hospitals, departments and hospital staff, they’re just so darn difficult to find, the bad ones is like a plague that is spreading!

How is the health care where YOU live?

Captain Human Lifecruiser

26 Comments on “Swedish Health Care Scare”

    Larro said:

    One thing to really worry about…
    Give up any of it and it’ll never come back.
    Privatized medicine, while in some ways superior, is designed (in a capitalist society anyway) to cater to the medical, pharmaceutical and insurance industries (ie. the rich and wealthy).

    Larro’s last blog post..This Secular Nation

    Vjai said:

    Its pathetic… I dint expect the situation of a european country like this… These things make me think that India is reasonably better to sum extent… Atleast, there is some more hospitality here…

    Vjai’s last blog post..Sarbanes-404

    Gattina said:

    Geez, I am horrified ! I always thought Sweden had the best health service in whole Europe ! Now I start to think that I live in a paradise compared to the UK now what you told and other countries. Compared to that we are really lucky in Belgium !
    Tomorrow you have to read my post we had a real hillarious adventure I only say one word : Call boys !!

    Caledonia said:

    I blame lack of proper care for the death of my grandparents, my grandma being the most recent example. I’ve also been pissed around by doctors over my ear problem and got the impression they could care less.

    Now, we are being told to go to the pharmacist for minor ailments and not to bother the doctors. How are we supposed to know if our problem is minor?

    I’d go private if I could but not everyone has the luxury of affording it.

    Caledonia’s last blog post..New Clothes

    .: mar said:

    And I would have thought Sweden had one of the best health care system of all Europe!!
    We have a private German health insurance for Spain (go figure) and truly can’t complain…until we get sick… ::knocks on wood:: until now we haven’t had any major issues- maybe Mr 19′s appendectomy at age 7 , and he got the best care at a public hospital. It seems you really have to be sick in Spain to get the proper care. If it’s only small things, then you learn what bureaucracy means…

    .: mar’s last blog hunt: flexible

    A. said:

    I have to say that we have been well looked after in the UK. The only two occasions we have had really serious illnesses were when my husband was having blackouts for no apparent reason (very, very thoroughly investigated) and now my mother with cancer. I really cannot complain. When we lived full time in France I found the system odd (though I know it’s changed.) You could go to as many doctors as you liked, collecting prescriptions as you went along.

    I suspect you get horror stories in every country.

    A.’s last blog post..Cooking in the sun

    Lifecruiser said:

    I wish it were only horror stories, but when you every time you go to the district health care center (they’re worst) and every one you know experience the same thing, then I call it a scandal….

    It wasn’t at all like this earlier, when we not had these district health care center you were forced to go to, but had more private local doctors instead. Sure, there will always be some bad doctors, but before, if a doctor were bad – he didn’t get any patients! Simple as that.

    Now, were forced to stay within the district health care center at least. A couple of years ago, we weren’t even allowed to choose doctor at all, then they had certain doctors for certain streets.

    So you better be lucky when you moved… I got a real bad one that I refused to go to any more. I’m patient, but I refuse to be treated insolent when coming for help. I think both sides deserve some respect.

    Zhu said:

    My my…

    I just don’t know where to start.

    As you may know, I’m French, so I benefited from the “best health care system in the world” till I moved to Canada. I could tell you so many stories… would mine be enough ? As a toddler, I woke up during a routine surgery because I was in fact allergic to the anesthetic. No one had bothered to check it out before the surgery, despite my mum’s recommendation (and she studied medicine for a few years before she had me…). Bad communication, I guess.

    It’s true, health care is free and relatively good. But communication between doctors is a major problem.

    In Canada, things are moving very slow. A very close friend of mine recently miscarriaged at 5 months. Doctors can’t be blamed of course, but she had a very simple problem at first that should have been taken care of.

    I don’t have a family doctor, neither do my hubby. We’re both relatively new in Ottawa (well, 6 years!) and GP don’t take new patients. The waiting list for any surgery is several months. Doctors are very good… when you get to see them.

    I still believe in public health care, but it’s worrying.

    Zhu’s last blog post..Canadian Skies

    Jeni Hill Ertmer said:

    Trust me, health care in the U.S. is not any great shakes either at times! Here though, it is pretty much everyone for themselves -no public health care, per se and it’s a big issue with the coming election next year as people can not afford what health care is available -sometimes, even when they have insurance. I worked for close to 30 years, raising 3 children, with no health insurance for myself and at times, no insurance for the kids either as their Dad was supposed to maintain insurance coverage on them but sometimes he didn’t. Drug costs, hospital costs, doctor fees -all frequently outrageous and don’t even think about getting dental coverage! You are so right about how the teeth can often cause many other health concerns and mental health – for all the talk in the States about how forward moving this country is, well that is just a joke or a lie -not sure where to categorize it!

    Jeni Hill Ertmer’s last blog post..WOO HOO! Awards and More Awards!

    Kat said:

    I remember going to the emergency room on several occasions for the same thing. The doctors kept telling me that I had a tubal infection (I had just had a baby and a tubal). Anyway, I ended up having to have my gall bladder removed…it was gall stones. So, I would agree that health care in the US isn’t what it’s hyped up to be.

    Lifecruiser, here’s a meme that I thought might interest you:

    Kat’s last blog post..Meme: Eight Random Things About Me

    that frolicsome kid said:

    Huh?! I thought European countries have good medical health care. I think it’s really frightening to know that even people’s health even in developed countries are still jeopardised because of poor medical care. When I was reading that, I was shuddering in horror.

    In my country, people have complained in the local newspaper about the poor service of medical staff in public hospitals. After reading your blog post today, they really pale in comparison to your stories.

    I don’t really know how good are the public health institutions here, but I can give you my testimony. Since August until a few weeks ago, I had to admit myself to hospital because I was suffering from pneumothorax. It really is nothing actually, but paranoia got the best of my mom and me. So I went to have an X-ray and saw the doctor etc. The doctor was really good! He explained everything in detail from A to Z which is really comforting.

    I had to make a few more visits over the months and I was discharged just last 2 weeks since it healed naturally over time. But what I’m saying is that I have a pleasant experience with the hospital. It was good and smooth. I mean, sure, waiting time was long and services are sometimes slow, the system is not computerised (horrors! :P ) but it was still bearable and worth my visit.

    Are private hospitals better despite the low numbers in your country?

    that frolicsome kid’s last blog post..Exams!

    laketrees said:

    I could write a book on the health system over here….
    I believe in Public Health but you have to have the right government in power for it to work…
    10 years ago I had my gallblader removed….I was misdiagnosed …I have reflux….
    my Father died from a rare form of cancer because the surgeon operated when there was no need to operate…
    I agree wholeheartedly on dental health… care should be free and available for everyone….
    I believe as you do Captain that a lot of disease comes from the mouth and teeth…
    great post and very illuminating !!!!

    ps love the new blog decor :)

    laketrees’s last blog post..Portrait of Kelly

    Kuanyin said:

    Wow! I am shocked to read of Sweden’s lousy health care system! I didn’t think anything could compete with America’s, but indeed from this thorough expose you posted here, Sweden certainly does!

    It’s time for a change. How can so many doctors be so callous, unprofessional and uncaring? The cost of health care is ridiculous. I know as I’ve been adding up my bills from my recent bad health episode!

    I’m sad to hear that you have to tolerate this system.

    Kuanyin’s last blog post..The Maui Family

    blogging said:

    Really pathetic hope they won’t repeat it again. And On my point of view the government should take some necessary steps.

    blogging’s last blog post..Earn Money By Showing A Widget In Your Site/Blog. Adsense Alternative That Pays $0.75 Per Click.

    claudie said:

    Thanks to share your experience of your system with us! It’s always interesting to compare! I didn’t know it was so hard for you because Sweden and of course north lands are often an exemple for inovation and new technics. When I must have been operated, I chose a private hospital. Of course it was a little more expensive than the public one but I had a total trust in my doctor and the people were very nice and hygien was perfect. But sure when you have a problem it’s nice if you can visit several doctors before taking a decision. Here we have a public system, Sécurité Sociale, for refund and taken care, many would like to close it to prefer private system but french people defend their system and if the governement would reform it tomorrow fast all people would be in street. In France you can find the best doctors in public or the best in private! So people have to inform themselves. normaly your common doctor must choose for you but in fact he knows you since several years and you can ask him a letter for the special doctor you prefer.

    claudie’s last blog post..A new member by COT?

    Narre said:

    Hello guys. I can tell you that it is totally TRUE that the Swedish public health care is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. It is somehow worst that the communistic medical system in some countries. Some Akuten (Emergency) even refuse to admit patients coming in the evening complaining of heavy headache that lasted already days. They simply told them to go back and take the pills and try to go to Vardcentralen (district health center) the day after. It is really horrifying this way. The Vardcentralen is open only between 8-17 on the weekdays and there are no private doctors available..if you really get sick after 17 then it is simply no place to go than the hospital which again is closed after 17 with only the emergency unit open. I really see no point why we should pay 30+ % tax to the government when it cannot improve the public heath care system. Nurses are really bad in Sweden as they interfere too much with the patients. They basically try as hard as they can to screen the patients and in most cases they just send patients home rather than sending them onward to the doctor.

    Medical staff in Sweden are fairly well paid but they do not have the heart for the job. The whole system should be scrapped away otherwise the population of Sweden will live an unhealthy life.


    N…the man who suffered too much from the Vardcentralen

    Neta's mom said:

    Are these only cases or commonly happened in Sweden? Because in any good health system there must be several cases like in Sweden. Have these happened lately or for a long time? Because, now a day most countries implement cost containment policies. The health care services including hospitals must be efficient in anything, if not they will suffer financial problems which leads to lesser or poorer services and less incentif for health workers.

    Your story should inspire the health researcher to do more research or investigation on it. The results will be valuable for health advocacy to the government by media or NGO.

    Most I hope, these only cases, as Sweden is one of the country which health system are followed by others. If not, how can we trust health system anymore. Private sectors are only good for some extend, it will not good at all for poor and less educated people.

    Neta’s mom from “Children and Health” site.

    Lifecruiser said:

    Welcome to my blog Neta’s Mom :-)

    To answer your questions:

    No, this are NOT the only cases, this is just some examples of how it is. I could fill this blog with other hair raising cases.

    And the last thing we can call the local health care for, is efficient. Mostly they don’t help you at all. If you’re not putting a knife at their throat (not literally) and sometimes not even then.

    We do have good health care at some hospitals (the university hospitals mostly) that are really competent and in the front line as you mention. They are just too few and the rest is suffering badly.

    I’ve not suggested that it should be exchanged for private ones only, but as it is now, since they aren’t functioning, there should be private ones as an alternative. We need to get some health care from some where. The people are suffering bad. Not all private hospitals in Sweden are that expensive either. It’s different from place to place.

    It’s the local health care that is the worst, that really need to get some private competition, to shape up. They begin to understand that I think, since they’re openening up the system now to let us choose doctor and local health care center ourselves, which haven’t been the case earlier. This will have the effect that if the doctor or local health care center are bad, no one will go there. So they’ll have to shape up!

    Tee said:

    :shock: YIKES! These stories are just scary.

    There’s no perfect healthcare system anywhere… it seems that the government (tax) subsidized or private systems will ultimately corrupt or just won’t be well-funded enough. Attempts at regulation are often met with stiff resistance, or the regulation will just drive more people out of practice and limit the amount of possible healthcare.

    I live in the US and can get fairly fast treatment, but not necessarily the best, at a very high out-of-pocket expense. My Canadian friends sometimes brag that their healthcare is free, but they’ll also complain about waiting 7 months for relatively simple procedures. There’s no great solution in place anywhere, to my knowledge.

    Tee’s last blog post..Breakthrough in Treating Crohn’s Disease

    Narre said:

    True that there is perfect health care system in the world but let me state that it can be much much better than it is now. Sweden has enough doctors to handle patients more quickly and they do have money but their old fashioned “socialistic” thinking makes it impossible to change anything. There is no need to wait for simple operations if you can let doctors work freely. At the moment it is the local council that decides how doctors should work, i mean their working hours as such.

    What I find very scary is that if you fall ill during the weekend, it is unlikely that you can get any help unless it is a real emergency. Believe that if you have a terrible headache and walk in their Akuten (emergency unit) you can be turned away easily. They will just say…take it easy and take some pills. You cannot even ask for pain killers from them for they will tell you to go to the pharmacies which are not open long on the weekend. I have really experienced this hell.

    Tapani said:

    I am dealing with one of these myself right now. A neck injury – my vårdcentral refused to even look at my neck, first two and a half years after my accident I got my neck x-rayed. The MD shrugged his shoulders, said something like in the style ‘Yeah, I can now see what’s been hurting you.’

    It gets MUCH WORSE when I try to find someone accountable! SLSO will lie anything to discredit me, despite that I all the clinical evidence proves my point.

    You can read my story at

    American said:

    You think those are “horror stories”? In the US, here is what would likely happen to the patient from horror story #1 in the lower middle class or person with less income: they probably wouldn’t be able to afford to see the doctor more than once or twice because they’re unable to afford any insurance. Forty-six million are uninsured. Some are children. And several million more than that are underinsured. And since private insurance companies are for-profit, they’ll often drop an “expensive” patient like that so they can make more money. The bill for that if uninsured would be tens of thousands if not hundreds. Which is why 18,000 people die every single year in America of preventable diseases simply because they can’t get health care.

    Besides, most of those stories don’t involve the actual health care system so much as incompetent doctors, medical algorithms, and generally not detecting diseases. The same thing happens in the US, except much more often, because many people can’t afford to see a doctor that many times! I mean, in all cases, the patient was seen by numerous areas of the health sector! That to me sounds like brilliant access, just bad doctors (who may be rushed, but American doctors won’t see you for more than 20 minutes).

    Your horror stories are laughable compared to this country. The reason I’m writing this is to let you know that while your system isn’t perfect, its so much better than a private market “system” like the US! Then its just huge corporations that don’t care about people’s health and just want money, and many people die from it. Our system is a nightmare. We spend 17% of our GDP and can’t even cover everyone (you guys spend half that).

    Sarah said:

    You think these are horror stories? I live in the US with my Swedish husband and we are trying to move BACK to Sweden because the health care is so much better than here. He broke a small bone in his hand which requires surgery to fix, but my insurance won’t cover it because we had a period without insurance of two months, which means that this system will cause him to probably have lifelong damage to his hand as the bone has deteriorated over the past two years. And even IF the insurance covered it we would still have to pay 1500+USD (10000 + SEK) without insurance 10000 USD (75000 SEK).

    Also, in every case mention, it listed the people receiving care. Maybe they didn’t get the care desired but at least they were not left to die on the street as literally happens in the USA. Health care debt is also the number one cause of bankruptcy in the USA.

    Also, I would like to point out that Swedes are members of the EU which means that if you don’t like health care in Sweden, you are eligible to try out health care in 27 other countries. If you don’t like any of these countries care, maybe you have unrealistic expectations.

    Trust me, privatization of health care is not the answer.

    Chris said:

    Eeeh, if the doctor is incompetent you can always go to another to get a second opinion.

    But how about this: My friends had a Premature Baby and were billed almost 500,000(!) USD for the hospital care – that’s almost 4,000,000 SEK. That has nothing to do with incompetent DOCTORS… or their “choice” of one. That has to do with the PRICING system in the US; aka INSURANCE.

    In the US employers pay a significant part of the insurance, and without a job one has serious problem getting one, or at least paying the price for having one, and even less for eventual treatments.

    For a family of four – out of pocket – an insurance would run around 800 USD (6,400 SEK) per month – that is far more than what the Socialized medicine ever would cost. And that is WITHOUT any treatments, just to be in the system!
    If you need care, on top of that, prices are not fixed… So one can not get a good price estimate of how much a treatment would cost. (Most health care providers would not even dare to give one due to fear of legal retribution.)

    There are almost 50,000,000 people in the USA without insurance (1/6). And without insurance, good luck keeping your House, Car, and Retirement savings if something happens. And why even have an insurance if one still would loose everything if one actually needed care.

    So, to whine about stupid doctors when families with children here have to live on the street due to an alternative system is ignorance! They would give it ALL for the Swedish system, so they had a chance to get help.
    What a trivial problem you present next to theirs!

    Micke Hakansson said:

    Swedish health care sucks !


    Betheny said:

    The Americans posting on this blog should be ashamed of themselves. While the access to healthcare here in the U.S. may be difficult for those who don’t bother to figure out the system, the QUALITY of care is top-notch, regardless of whether you can pay or not. And 20 minutes is a long time to spend with a patient – most spend as much time as you need. I’m 44 years old and have never been rushed by any doctor I’ve seen. And I’ve been well-insured and un-insured but always rec’d excellent health care, same day that I call most of the time and without losing my house, retirement, etc. ALL children in the U.S. are insured through medicaid if you apply for it. Do you have any idea how awful it would be if we were stuck with the terrible system they have in Sweden? Something like this: your child wakes up with a 104′ fever. You call the doctor (the next morning because they’re not available at night) and the NURSE tells you to give them water and paracetamol and call back in a few days. Your child continues to cry and you know they have an infection but the doctor’s office WILL NOT see you until you’ve done what the nurse says. 3 days of suffering and your child is not better, so you call back. Now they will see you tomorrow or the next day. So your child has now suffered for 5 days. You go to the doctor, but again, you only see a nurse (it’s rare to see an actual doctor). She isn’t a doctor, so she can only run tests but can’t prescribe anything. So they run some tests and on the 6th day, they call and tell you your child has a ruptured ear drum because you waited too long to get treatment for an ear infection. (!!) Or maybe try calling their version of 9-1-1 and have them argue with you over the phone that if you are able to talk, you’re not sick enough to need an emergency squad, you beg them and tell them you are in sudden & incredible pain., they still refuse. So you die because you had a ruptured spleen but no-one would listen, they argue with you on the phone. This is how it would be here in the U.S. if we had “free” health care. All of you complaining about how expensive it is here would still be complaining because now your taxes would increase by 40% to cover your health care – the health care that you only need once a year for a check up but your hypochondriac neighbor uses every week because they’re bored (they don’t have to work, you see, because the gov’t pays everything). And none of the Swedes or UK’ers have mentioned the long, long wait to get into the doctor if you can even get anyone to answer the phone. So finally, you purchase private insurance so you can go to a private doctor and a private hospital and get GOOD treatment – - mmmmm, just like AMERICANS do!

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