Less Pay Often Means Worse Treatment
Patients with more schooling and higher wages get better health care in Sweden. A new study shows that who you are and what you do make a difference to how you are treated by doctors.
The study has established that more modern treatments are given to patients with a higher social standing. This was noticeable both in the case of lung disease, in cancer treatment and in the long term care for the elderly.Among patients suffering from breastcancer, 76 % of high income earners pulled through, while only 35% of low income earners survived the disease.
The aim of the study, carried out by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, was to see if health care in Sweden is given on equal terms to those who are unemployed, those born outside of Sweden or those who are less educated. Anders Andersson from the board of the Swedish association of Local Authorities and Regions is shocked by what the study has revealed.
“It is not acceptable, and after -68 and all the discussions we have had in Sweden about equality - something like this should just not be possible,” he said to Swedish Radio News.
However, according to Andersson, the results of the study should open up a discussion within Swedish health care which may ultimately lead to an improved situation for all patients, regardless of their social advantages.