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Patients waiting for surgery face increasingly hopeless situation

The number of people waiting for surgery has boosted to 185,000, while operating room capacity has fallen by 20 per cent during summer. Doctors say the situation of healthcare was not adequate before the epidemic either, but now it has become downright tragic.

"Even before the emergency, waiting lists in Sweden were unacceptably long," Heidi Stensmyren, president of the Swedish Medical Association said. The country needs a change in perception, as those patients who go to the doctor less and less and thus hospitalised when it is already too late also add to the length of waiting lists, she added.

According to Ms Stensmyren, the system prioritises the sickest patients, but the Swedish government launched an inquiry on Tuesday to assess the situation, as patients with private insurance were consistently higher on the lists due to shortcomings in the model. The minister for social affairs said they could not let people buy priority on waiting lists.

Statistics also show a 20 per cent drop in hospitals' surgical capacity over summer. This led to a 185,000-strong waiting list by the beginning of summer, which is expected to grow further. Lotta Olmarken Ingler, Dalarna's health director, said 5,000 people in her region are currently waiting for surgery, which would also continue to grow in summer. Unfortunately, many people do not dare to ask for help from healthcare and are reluctant to book dates, she added. The director concludes that if people dare to see a doctor again, the list is likely to continue to expand and reach eight thousand.

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