Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT.
Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT.

Sweden fears refugee influx could harm reception services

"The situation is difficult already"
1:02 min

Swedish schools and local social services will have a hard time maintaining the quality of their services if the influx of refugees continues at the current rate, according to new reports by the country's 21 regional administrative boards.

The reports, put together by the regional administrative boards and commissioned by the national Civil Contingencies Agency, paint a grim picture of how the country's municipalities and county councils would be affected if the number of refugees arriving in Sweden continues to grow. 

Ingela Regnell, head of emergency management and preparedness in the county of Västmanland, says that several municipalities already have a hard time placing newly arrived refugees in schools and that many county councils are reporting that their health clinics are having difficulties with a soaring number of checkups.

"We risk not being able to maintain normal activities if the number of refugees keeps growing," she says.

Regnell adds that the biggest challenges for the municipalities are to find schools and accommodation for them. The county councils, on the other hand, struggle with a lack of social workers and teachers.

According to Regnell, the staffing issues could be solved by making it easier for the county councils to hire personnel, and she says that the municipalities require clearer guidelines on how much the state will reimburse them for taking in refugees.

"We expect more people to come so it will be a long-term challenge for our county and for all of Sweden," Regnell says.

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