Cuts in Sick Leave Awarded with Millions

The health authorities in the country will get millions of Swedish crowns from the government as a reward for managing to significantly cut the time that people are on sick leave.

Last year, the health authority in Värmland, in the west of the country, managed to shorten the sick leave so much that the sick leave benefit in the region was lowered by 30 % compared to the year before.

It was in 2007 that the government decided to set aside 1 billion Swedish Crowns (135 million US dollars) to award the health authorities in relation to their cuts in the sick leave and in proportion of their population. Most money will this year go to the health authority in the Gothenburg-region, which will get some 25 million US dollars for lowering payments to cover the sick leave benefit by 20 % last year.

According to the national association of health authorities SKL, it is in the regions with the most and the longest sick leave, that the health authorities have managed to cut their numbers the most. The results, according to SKL, have been reached by a more systematic approach, involving all health professionals, to try to rehabilitate those on sick leave. Another reason, as suggested by the SKL, could be the effort to improve the doctors notes that form the basis for the benefits agency when it decides who should get sick leave benefit and who shouldn't.