Working Conditions for Medical Professionals in Sweden
In order to do their jobs properly and fully dedicate themselves to patients, medical professionals require good working conditions. Not having enough time per patient, working long hours and inadequately equipped hospitals increase the possibility of burnout, a syndrome of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation, which has negative consequences for both the patients and the medical professionals.
Sweden is known for its organised, modern healthcare system, which is a result of advanced technology, constant improvement and open-minded society. Here’s what working conditions medical professionals looking to relocate to Sweden can expect:
1. More time per patientIt is widely known that one of the biggest frustrations in primary care across the world is not enough time to consult with each patient. A recent study presented in the BMJ Open medical journal shows that Sweden ranks number one in GP consultation time per patient, with an average of 22.5 minutes per patient. Having more time means that doctors know their patients better and can solve their problems more efficiently.
“I have more time per patient because there are fewer patients per nurse. One nurse has four patients a day whereas in Holland you can have up to eight patients a day.”
Mirjam, a nurse from the Netherlands working in Sweden
2. Working hours that ensure good work-life balanceThe work-life balance in Sweden is great as the family is very high on their priority list. The working schedule is fixed, and in case overtime is required, you are entitled to an additional payment. Life in Sweden is all about quality, which really makes the difference. Usually, a work week in a hospital consists out of five days with an average of 40 hours per week, which is less compared to other countries in Europe.
“In Sweden, my working hours are limited to the time between 7 am and 4 pm. You also have more resources, the salary is a lot better, and the working environment is very nice.”
Christian, a radiologist from Romania working in Sweden
3. Training and professional growth possibilitiesIn the Swedish healthcare system, there’s an emphasis on training and deep knowledge of diagnostics and treatment. The training takes place while the doctors are working, so no time gets wasted, while they get the opportunity to grow professionally and learn new things. More competencies come with longer training.
“The level of training is a lot higher in Sweden. We can work in our sub-specialities and get support from our superiors for pursuing further training. We also plan our development over the next two years with them. This makes us feel positive and see a bright future.”
Mercedes and Jorge, an ophthalmologist and a paediatrician from Spain working in Sweden
4. Equality and teamworkSweden is one of the most developed countries in Europe when it comes to equality. There is a non-hierarchical healthcare organisation in Sweden, which offers the opportunity to have significant professional status and enhance your professional growth. Teamwork is essential in the Swedish healthcare system, so medical professionals stick up for each other and ask other specialists for advice. They share knowledge and contribute to the common goals in patient care. Inter-professional collaborations can improve healthcare processes and outcomes.
“In general, the workplace functions better. Here you work in a team with the attitude of sticking up for one other. The patients are also positive about doctors collaborating with other experts and asking them for advice, whereas it was practically seen as a sign of incompetence back home.”
Agnes, a general practitioner from Hungary working in Sweden
5. A good salaryDoctors and nurses are well paid in Sweden. Most doctors in Sweden get paid between €6K and €6,5K per month.
“You don’t have to worry about the salary. It’s perfectly sufficient, although the cost of living is higher.”
Christian, a radiologist from Romania working in SwedenIf you’re a medical professional looking for growth possibilities and work-life balance register here and explore career opportunities in Sweden.