By taking out the wrong "eyedrops" from the drawer, a caregiver in Sweden has caused his patient an unpleasant experience. In a bid to rectify the downward spiral of Swedish healthcare induced by the pandemic, authorities have introduced a new regulation to make Swedish language skills mandatory for caregivers.
A Swedish pensioner whose in-home caregiver has accidentally mixed his eye drops with superglue and dripped it into his eyes was taken to hospital by ambulances services. According to the initial sanitary inspection report, the caregiver was simply unable to tell the difference between the two bottles, wich has led to the tragic mistake. His patient has suffered severe and permanent visual impairment.
The downward spiral of Sweden's healthcare system became palpable during the coronavirus pandemic as health authorities decided to go by the model of herd immunity, which caught the country's ill-prepared hospitals and healthcare system off guard. It became clear early on that the country was struggling with a shortage of equipment with some hospitals having to introcuse alternative solutions, such as improvised and home-made personal protective gears.
The pandemic has also highlighted the inadequacy of elderly care home employees. Barely a month ago, a resident in a care home in Ostersund province was left starving, because his caregiver did not speak Swedish. He called home for help and eventually his family found out that none of the nursing home's employees spoke Swedish. Some institutions have had to make educational videos to inform their caregivers about the pandemic-related regulations and restrictions, because they did not understand any written instructions.
After a number of similar incidents in Botkyrka, where some 60 per cent of the population comes from a migrant background according to stats, authorities have introduced a new standard requiring care home staff to speak Swedish and they also expect current employees to take certain language tests. According to the Samhalls Nytt news site, the left has long been a vocal opponent of the idea and considers the language requirement in Swedish nursing homes "too harsh," but Tuva Lund, chairman of the local care and welfare committee, has recently underlined that language skills were a basic requirement in nursing homes.