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Sweden sending cancer patients to Finland for radiation therapy

A chief physician in Sweden said Stockholm County will send about one patient per week to Finland over the next few months.

Sädehoitohuone
Stockholm County will reportedly pick up the bill for the patient's travel and living costs, along with hospital fees. Image: Jyrki Ojala / Yle

Sweden has started sending cancer patients to Finland for treatment, due to an unusually high number of people needing radiation therapy in Stockholm, according to Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter and news outlet Mitt i Stockholm, which first reported the story.

"We're working to get all patients their therapy within the time frames their illnesses demand. After undergoing medical exams, some patients will be offered radiation therapy in other parts of Sweden or in Finland," Karolinska University Hospital's chief physician Elda Sparrelid told Mitt i Stockholm.

The cancer patient backlog in Stockholm is due to delays in the rollout of new radiation therapy equipment, which was originally scheduled to be operational during the first half of the year, according to DN.

Stockholm County pays

Breast cancer patients are among the most likely to be offered treatment therapies in Finland, according to Mitt i Stockholm, which reported that Stockholm County would pick up the bill for the patient's travel and living costs, along with hospital fees.

The news outlet reported that selected patients who choose to go to Finland for three-week radiation treatment schemes will also be offered weekend trips home to Sweden.

Sparrelid told Mitt i Stockholm that the county will likely send about one patient per week to Finland over the next few months.

"When our radiation therapy equipment is back to full capacity we will no longer need help from others," she told the news site.

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