Operations are already being cancelled, and wards emptied ahead of the first wave of industrial action, which is due to come into effect in 9 county councils at lunchtime on Monday. Now another 40 districts are being targeted in a new wave of strikes announced on Wednesday.
Both sides of the discussions are pessimistic about the chances of a deal, with the head doctor at Stockholm’s Karolinska Hospital calling the strike plans unacceptable and threatening patient safety. The disagreements come over a proposed pay deal which would give health professionals a raise of 4 percent this year, 2.5 percent next and 2 percent in 2010. Not enough says the union.