Systemic shortcomings in Sweden’s aged care coupled with insufficient measures from the federal government and companies contributed to the nation’s excessive COVID-19 demise toll in nursing properties, an preliminary report by an official fee mentioned on Tuesday.
Sweden’s pandemic technique, which did not encourage lockdowns or carrying masks, has stood out internationally. It left colleges, eating places and companies largely open whereas interesting to individuals to bodily distance and preserve good hygiene.
When introduced in the course of the spring, the technique was twinned with a objective to “ring-fence” the aged from COVID-19. However as deaths mounted, particularly at nursing properties, the fee was appointed to evaluate the response.
The fee mentioned beforehand identified structural issues inside the aged care system, for which authorities, areas, non-public caregivers and municipalities share duty, had been responsible for the numerous deaths.
“However we need to say that it’s the authorities that guidelines the nation and has the last word duty,” Mats Melin, the fee chairman, informed a information convention.
“The federal government ought to have taken measures to make sure the aged care was higher outfitted to take care of the pandemic.”
The fee pointed to poorly educated employees and low ranges of nurses and medical doctors in aged care, and emphasised that previous governments had additionally contributed to the shortcomings.
Divisive pandemic technique
Sweden’s pandemic technique has been referred to as reckless and merciless but additionally earned reward for being extra sustainable and business-friendly. Slightly below half of Sweden’s nearly 7,700 coronavirus deaths have been nursing house residents.
The fee report mentioned authorities measures to guard the aged in the course of the spring had come too late and had been insufficient.
“The facet of [the pandemic strategy] which centred on defending the aged failed. There is no such thing as a different strategy to view the truth that so many died in COVID-19,” Melin mentioned.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has defended the general technique however admitted Sweden didn’t defend the aged, although he pressured well being and aged care are the duty of regional authorities and never the central authorities.
In November, Sweden’s Well being and Social Care Inspectorate mentioned it had discovered “critical shortcomings” in aged care — in solely six per cent of circumstances reviewed had been nursing house COVID-19 sufferers given a bodily examination by a health care provider.
Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren mentioned the Social Democrat and Inexperienced authorities was making ready new laws to manage aged care.
Sweden has suffered many instances extra deaths per capita than its Nordic neighbours, though fewer than some European international locations that opted for lockdowns.