Comments on: Swedish Health Care Scare Ranked Top 100 Travel Blog Lifecruiser. Travel information & photos. Europe, North & South America. Mon, 18 Feb 2013 15:24:49 +0000 hourly 1 By: Betheny Betheny Thu, 26 Jan 2012 15:47:31 +0000 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!

By: Micke Hakansson Micke Hakansson Thu, 17 Dec 2009 23:38:23 +0000 Swedish health care sucks !


By: Chris Chris Fri, 10 Jul 2009 23:36:24 +0000 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!

By: Sarah Sarah Fri, 10 Jul 2009 23:05:35 +0000 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.

By: American American Mon, 22 Jun 2009 09:00:39 +0000 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).

By: Tapani Tapani Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:50:10 +0000 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

By: Narre Narre Wed, 12 Mar 2008 22:36:02 +0000 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.

By: Tee Tee Thu, 06 Mar 2008 21:23:49 +0000 :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

By: Lifecruiser Lifecruiser Fri, 30 Nov 2007 14:32:54 +0000 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!

By: Neta's mom Neta's mom Fri, 30 Nov 2007 01:08:01 +0000 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.