Public Service

Swedish taxpayers deliver appr 30% of the monthly income to public services. This includes hospital care, which is a community affair in Sweden.

I’ve never been hospitalized in Sweden. However, last year I had a problem with my ears and therefore went to see a doctor at the local hospital. He claimed there was nothing wrong with me and sent me home again. As a result I lived with a cold for 4 months. Then my teeth started to ache so I went to the dentist. Turned out I had a massive sinus inflammation which had spread to the teeth.

What’s bothering me is that on one hand I don’t mind delivering my tribute to society. On the other hand I feel the public services are so poor that they might as well be non-existing. More and more people send their children to private schools instead of public schools, because the public school system suffers from budget cuts and less time for the students. Public service in general is drowning itself in administration.

Public service workers often seem to forget that we – the users – are their customers. Because we can’t really choose another supplier. We are stuck with what we have with everything that implies.

In case I become sick I have 2 options:

1. I can call the district nurse and explain where it hurts and how I feel. If I sound as if I’m near death, I will be instructed to show up at the district nurse’s office for him to take a closer look at me. If I look as if I’m near death, he will send me to the emergency room where a doctor after a couple of hours of waiting will take a look at me. If I still look as if I’m near death the doctor will prescript me medicine. If my temperature however is below the state of hyper-ventilation, he will send me home with orders to drink a cup of tea and to take 2 water-soluble tablets.

2. I can simulate a fainting in the bathroom. That will scare the crap out of Mr. Asta enough for him to dial 112. Arriving the hospital by ambulance in a black out state guarantees me onward movement to another – more specialized – hospital.
- It takes good health to survive public care.



Silkstockings said...

This is without a doubt the best description i've ever read when it comes to the lack of awareness within the swedish public service.

You hit it!
...and I think it's cool that you write in english!

Ps. Thanks for dropping by our "space".

Asta said...

Hi Silkstockings!
Thank you!-:)

m_m said...

Interesting story. I've not expected that the public medical service looks like this in Sweden.

It sounds exactly like a history from some postcommunist countries:)

Best regards,

Jacob said...

Hi, Asta...this is really depressing. I was under the mistaken impression that Sweden had great health care...you make it sound like ours in the U.S. isn't too bad...and that's not good, 'cause we stink!

I wish I knew the answer...

Thanks for all your kindness and comments!

Asta said...

It's a pitty when care becomes a class issue. We were brought up to believe in the system. To believe that society would take care of us when we no longer had the ability to contribute with our ressources. Unfortunately the deterioration has sneaked upon us step by step, and today we see that society's willingness to take responsibility depends on how well we can speak for ourselves.

I don't think this is just happening in Sweden. I see this development even in Denmark where I grew up.

But is this really how we want it to be? How are we to deal with it? I know I would never expect Miss Winty or Miss Mocca to take care of me when I no longer has the ability to support myself. But they will feel that it's their duty. That's bothering me a great deal, to be honest.


Henrik said...

Your last words that one need to be in good healt to have the strengt to be ill has today once again been proven true.

True quote from local health centre "Our physiotherapist is away ill, try the yellow pages."


Christopher Raun Leth said...

Hi Asta

You know that in Denmark we pride ourselves in our health care system. Unfortunately research have shown that we're lacking behind countries we thought were very bad. The latest story in the media tells about a 14 month baby boy who died 14 days after he had swallowed a battery. 11 different doctors couldn't find out what was wrong and they didn't listen to the parents; they knew better because they were doctors!

Another story in todays newspapers is that the cleaning of the hospitals is a joke. 94% of all operaing rooms are too dirty!

So yes, you need to have a strong health to survive the healt care!

Anonymous said...