Photo: Bertil Ericson/Scanpix

Access to cancer treatment varies widely

Sweden is one of the world's most advanced countries in the world when it comes to cancer treatment, but  some patients still have to wait a long time to see a doctor,  and there is a lack a continuity in their care. One reason for this is an unequal distribution of oncologists (cancer doctors) throughout the country, according to an opinion piece authored by three prominent oncologists published in newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

The number of new cancer patients per cancer specialist varies from about 109 in Stockholm to as many as 367 patients in the region surrounding Gothenburg. In other words, oncologists based in Gothenburg are responsible for roughly three times more patients.

"From a patient's perspective, it is obvious that these large regional discrepancies regarding the ratio of patient to oncology specialist affects the access to special competence for cancer patients," the trio of experts conclude.

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