Elderly care

Carema Care scandal infecting other companies

1:56 min

Do you also weigh your diapers? That is only one example of a typical question that people are asking private elderly care companies throughout the country these days after months and months of bad headlines for Carema Care – one, now very well-known company.

Carema Care has been in the news for a number of reasons a company never wants to find itself in the news for. These include erroneous amputations, the weighing of diapers to save money, and venture capital owners who are hiding profits in tax havens.

And now many private care companies think the turbulence around Carema Care that started in the fall and continues into the winter has lead to an increased suspicion of all private companies in the elderly care sector.

Tommy Skörd, the CEO of Adium Omsorg, which has operations in southern Sweden, says the scandals have smeared his companies operations. "We are being affected day in and day out because family members and friends, and local politicians are contacting us asking us if we have the same problems,” he says. “We have undeservingly been thrown into the shadow of this scandal. Even we small entrepreneurs."

A recent poll shows that private companies feel an increased pressure as of late. Many feel that politicians with decision-making power are all the more sceptical about private alternatives.

A little more than one in six of the 100 companies polled say also that they have lost new deals to run facilities or had contracts cancelled due to the so-called Carema Care scandal.

Håkan Tenelius at the Association of Private Care Providers is worried about the future for these private care providers. "We know that some companies have had their contracts cancelled because of Carema Care,” he says. “But the biggest effect for companies is the critical attitudes, the critical questions. We don't know yet if this will cause fewer possibilities for private care providers in the future but we can't rule it out."

And even other parts of the private care industry have been affected. Around a quarter of companies outside the elderly care sector who participated in the survey say they have been negatively impacted  by the recent media reports.

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