Good afternoon people, I hope all is well wherever in the world you may be. Here in Sweden the days are drifting away, unfortunately the wether has not been as good as one might have hoped. But seen as I am in a cast it does not really matter, at least I got the world cup and family and friends to entertain me. Todays post will be different from what you usually here from me, but as always I like to express my opinion.
As I am sure you know I am currently living with a few foot issues, which has left me with a cast and rather still as my mobility is limited. For the first couple of weeks I had crutches, and jumped around as well as I could. However, as my check up with the doctor approached my hands rally started to hurt. For those of you that do not know, I had wrist surgery this past Winter and this came back to hunt me as I had been putting a lot of weight on my wrists as I crutched around. My hands would swell up and my fingers would start shaking with and I could no longer grip objects properly. Obviously a situation that were not sustainable.
As I had my check up at the hospital and the doctor told me that I will be in a cast for another three weeks I told her about my hand and problems that I had. She seemed understanding and all, and I asked her if I could have a wheel chair. My doctor said that she thought that would be a good idea, as I otherwise would be left laying in my room most of the time and not really have chance to be outside without experiencing a great deal of pain. However the issue at hand was that there were no wheelchairs at the hospital. Since I felt that most people who needed a wheelchair would discover that at the hospital and not while at home, I asked if they had recently run our what the issue were. She told me that she was not really sure where people got their hands on wheelchairs, once again if not at the hospital where would one find or discover the need for a wheelchair?
Anyway she made a few calls, and a lady at the emergency room told us that we had to go the a work therapist and order one from her. After a quick look at the website I understood that the only hours one could call them to discuss the possibility of getting a wheelchair were between 8-9 a.m, extremely weird and short hours to allow people to call. Therefore, I had to take myself to the office of the work therapists, which in my town happens to be 5 minutes away from the hospital. I was lucky that my mother had come with me as I was and still are incapable of driving due to my foot. But anyone else who had come alone would have no chance of leaving the hospital and bring themselves to the work therapist office.
Anyway, we drove their and crutched up into their office, where we after a couple of minutes got to see a work therapist. After talking to her, she said that she would have to call up to Älvsjö and place an order. I asked her if that wheelchair would arrive today, the answer was off course no. They only got delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, she told us that if we wanted to we could wait one day or drive up (30min) and collect it ourselves. Once again without the help of my mother this is a task that would have been impossible for me. After car ride, we finally had my wheel chair and I could once again feel partly independent as I know could ride around.
Obviously for me and my mother this was merely a question of time, gas money and frustration. But what if someone who were completely unable of walking would have needed a wheel chair, how would they have received one? Would they have had to wait until they could have called the next day to potentially order one from the work therapist? And than wait for the wheel chair to arrive? This is a rather ineffective way of dealing with people who are in need of assistance. I can not even imagine how someone who do not speak perfect swedish or do not have help from friends or family would have a chance of receiving a wheel chair.
Do not get me wrong I think the Swedish health care system is amazing, and we offer close to free health care to all. However, their are certain aspects of our system that seriously needs to be looked over, one of those being where one would obtain a wheelchair. The only sensible solution would be to have them where people would need them, at the hospital and the emergency room.
If anyone has any questions about the Swedish health care system, feel free ask them in a comment.