Thursday, January 23, 2014

Worse Than Albania: "It's quicker to get a Swedish colleague back to work if you have an operation in two weeks' time rather than having to wait for a year"

Oh Lord, thank you thank thank you! Thank you for bringing Barack Obama to America, so that Americans — so that those poor American wretches, those clueless clods — will finally have the same kind of outstanding health care as in Europe, notably in that avant-garde region which is Scandinavia, with its Nordic Model, where people are treated with the utmost digni—

Wait a minute.

According to Sweden's The Local (tack till Valerie), the Swedish health care system's rank is worse than Albania's:

One in ten Swedes now has private health insurance, often through their employers, with some recipients stating it makes business sense to be seen quickly rather than languish in national health care queues.

More than half a million Swedes now have private health insurance, showed a new review from industry organization Swedish Insurance (Svensk Försäkring). In eight out of ten cases, the person's employer had offered them the private insurance deal.

"It's quicker to get a colleague back to work if you have an operation in two weeks' time rather than having to wait for a year," privately insured Anna Norlander told Sveriges Radio on Friday. "It's terrible that I, as a young person, don't feel I can trust the health care system to take care of me."

The insurance plan guarantees that she can see a specialist within four working days, and get a time for surgery, if needed, within 15.

In December, the queues in the Swedish health care system pushed the country down a European ranking of healthcare.

  Health system wait times in Sweden were deemed so lengthy that they pulled Sweden down the European ranking despite the country having technically advanced healthcare at its disposal.

"The Swedish score for technically excellent healthcare services is, as ever, dragged down by the seemingly never-ending story of access/waiting time problems," the reported noted, underlining that the national efforts to guarantee patient care had not helped to cut the delays significantly.

In its year-ahead report, industry organization Swedish Insurance said many people now felt they did not know what they could expect from their health care providers.

"There is a lack of certainty about what the individual can expect from public welfare and which needs have to be taken care of in another manner," the report authors noted.