Many Medical Tourists Come to Sweden

The number of "medical tourists" that so far have come to Sweden from the EU are many more than the number of Swedes applying for health care in another EU-country. According to Swedish Radio, no coordinated data is available, but only in the Stockholm area, hospitals received 450 such patients last year.

All the big regional medical authorities have special units and companies dedicated to the foreign patients and to finding them. The increase in foreign patients is "enormous" according to the head of Uppsala University Hospital's international unit.

It is only highly specialised health care that is sold to foreigners in this way. As for the basic health care, there are still queues in Sweden, and hospitals here have to cater for them first, before taking on foreigners.

On Tuesday, the meeting of EU's Health Ministers in Jönköping will discuss patients rights when receiving health care in other EU countries.