Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Let's play doctors and nurses

Or at least let's play with their wages a bit.

In my opinion nurses are every bit as important as doctors. Okay, doctors and surgeons have a huge personal responsibility, which I imagine is often extremely mentally taxing. And of course there are fewer of them than there are nurses.

But their extra responsibility, extra training, and their scarcity do not explain the Grand Canyon like chasm between a fully trained nurse's wage and a doctor's wage in Sweden.

We all now know, thanks ot the strike, that nurses, depending on their particular role and skills and healthcare authority they work for, earn roughly between 18 and 25 thousand krona per month.

However, what the vast majority of Swedes don't know is exactly how much various types of doctor earn.

Well, I can tell you, in Sweden doctors and surgeons, again depending on their particular role and skills and the healthcare authority they work for, earn between roughly 25 and 70 thousand krona per month.

Don't be fooled by what various union and healthcare websites tell you about how much they earn, because those figures are only recommendations from unions for the minimum that an AT or ST should earn.

I know several doctors in Karlstad, some are personal friends. And while the nurses' strike was on I aksed three of them how much they earned. Being a foreigner I can get away with asking such questions ;O)

1. ST - hospital - 42,000
2. ST at a clinic (vårdcentral) - 55,000
3. AT - hospital - 32,000

So perhaps the association of local healthcare authorities could look to doctor's pay scales to find the extra money, for argument's sake let's say 5 thousand a month, that nurses so badly need but more importantly so rightly deserve.

After all, doctors on 55,ooo a month aren't going to miss 5 grand going to a just and good cause i.e into a nurse's wage packet, now are they?

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