Sweden facing nationwide shortage of midwives

There is acute shortage of midwives in Sweden and the situation is particularly acute in urban centers, according to a new study from social styrelsen.

In Gothenburg, a survey of midwives showed that 50 percent feel that they are working with too high levels of frustration, anxiety and agitation. Eight infants died in 2012-2013 and a contributing factor is believed to have been the heavy workload.

Malmö has faced criticizing by health officials last year because it was determined that patient safety was threatened. Skåne University Hospital attributes the problem to staff shortages.

In Stockholm, Söder Sjukhuset has described its situation as worrisome. The hospital would like to recruit around 20 new midwives.

Pia Arndorf, a vice president at vårdforbundit, says the situation has become critical and it will not easily be  fixed. Arndorf said that the midwives had warned about this situation for several years.

Filippa Reinfeldt, the top elected official for health services in Stockholm county, has made several recent policy suggestions. One of those included the paying bonuses to midwives for the number of baby's they delivered.

But Arndorf, and several other officials, said that her suggestions were unrealistic.

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