patient Rebecca Anserud och psykvård
Rebecca Anserud, 27, has been prescribed 35 different medical alternatives during her 7 years as a psychiatric patient. Photo: Susanna Einerstam/Sveriges Radio

A quarter of psychiatrists are temp staff

About a quarter of the psychiatrists working in the psych wards at Sweden's university hospitals are doctors who have been hired on temporary contracts through employment agencies, reports Swedish Radio News.

The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions is calling for national coordination to make staffing permanent within psychiatry.

For patients like Rebecca Anserud, not having continuity in her care is a problem.

"To sit there and explain my history for new doctors over and over again, that I got sick then, that I have these kind of relapses. When you're not doing well, it's extremely difficult to have to repeat yourself all the time," she says.

Anserud was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 20 years old. She also has ADHD and dyslexia. She has met some 60 psychiatrists during her years of treatment and has been given over 35 kinds of medicines since her diagnosis.

According to the National Board of Health and Welfare, there are an estimated five million visits every year to mental health clinics.

"I'm getting signals from rather many places in Sweden that people are worried about the staffing of doctors, and that people to a larger extent than they'd like are having to trust employment agencies," Ing-Marie Wieselgren, national coordinator of psychiatry with the association of local authorities and regions.

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