Sweden faces impending shortage of doctors

4:52 min

The Swedish health care system is facing a shortage of doctors and nurses over the next decade, according to a new estimate by the National Board of Health and Welfare.

The report, commissioned by the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, forebodes a system that, ten years down the line, will lack some 4,000 doctors and 5,000 nurses. The shortage is expected to hit specialized fields of general medicine, psychiatry, internal medicine and gynecology worst.

Today, there is already a short supply of pathologists, which means that cancer patients are forced to wait up to a month before getting an exact diagnosis.

One solution currently under discussion is relying more heavily on doctors who come here from other countries. At present, one-fifth of doctors in Sweden were educated abroad. Another solution is to raise the pension age, so that doctors would be required to work for more years.