Entering the Imaging and Intervention Centre
Most of the days we get amazed by all the research and development surrounding us here at the Medical Hill in Gothenburg. Today we got to enter Operating room 8, one of four hybrid operating rooms at the Imaging and Intervention Centre at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. A hybrid operating room is a surgical theatre that is equipped with advanced medical imaging devices. In this one you will find a MRI-camera carried on rails, the most powerful yet in Europe.
Some parts of the Centre has been in use for some time, but in 2018 it will be complete. This is one of the last pieces of the puzzle and today the first surgery will take place. Minimally invasive surgeries have however already been performed at the Centre and the state of the art environment will enable the development of many more.
We met Stefanie Eriksson, a Medical physicist and Doctor in Physical Chemistry who recently joined the team. She and her colleagues will work in back office between and during surgeries to ensure that the equipment is used properly.
-I moved from Malmö for this particular job. I have previously worked in a hospital environment, but not as a Medical physicist. This Centre is the only one of its kind in Sweden and I find it interesting to be a part of the future development, says Stefanie.
Nearly 30 years of collaboration with Saudi Arabia
In November CEO Donald Ribbentjärn and Education Coordinator Erika Nettelbladt visited the Cultural Bureau of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Berlin. They met with the Embassy’s Academic Advisor Abdelrahman Ikhdeyr and discussed the cooperation regarding our specialist training which has been ongoing since nearly 30 years back. It is clear that the need for medical specialists in Saudi Arabia is continuing, and the demand for Swedish expertise is further high. But we can not rest assured that this will always be the case. To be a educational provider in the forefront requires continuous work with quality assurance.
We look forward to developing the programme , a prolonged partnership and to keep carrying out Swedish medical know-how into the world through all the doctors that have completed their specialist training at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
Sweden to step up healthcare export
Swedish healthcare and life science is at the global forefront. The interest and demand for the know-how around the world is increasing. While it is currently an important part of the country’s export, there is a significant potential for growth.
The Swedish government has now announced that they want to invest in healthcare export. Hence the establishment of Team Sweden Care and Health, a high level group consisting of key representatives from the private and public sector. They will meet regularly under the leadership of the State Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The aim is to conceptualize the Swedish healthcare offer to ensure delivery of complete solutions.
This is a milestone for us who export world-class healthcare expertise offered by the public healthcare system in Sweden. We look forward to work closely with Team Sweden Care and Health, Swecare and colleagues in other regions. Together we can step up Swedish healthcare export.
In areas where we have excellent track records, it is our duty to leave footprints internationally. We are convinced that the only way to succeed is by collaboration cross levels and sectors. United under one strong national brand we will be better equipped to take on new orders. This will enhance further growth and development of new healthcare innovations that can improve the quality of life both locally and globally. That we owe to the Swedish population and our customers worldwide.
Healthcare insight: Västra Götaland vs Valenciana
Recently our Marketing and Communications Manager visited Hospital La Fe in Valencia. After gaining an insight into the similarities and differences of our respective healthcare systems, she headed home with innovative solutions on her mind.
– From what I could tell, La Fe has amazing facilities and a management with modern leadership. Two key success factors for innovation and development within healthcare, says Paulina.
Below we share a few of the findings.
Strong reliance on the public healthcare sector
In both countries the population has access to a strong public health insurance. This comes with a firm belief that whenever I fall, the public healthcare sector will be there to pick me up.
While the insurance in Spain covers all expenses connected to healthcare, with the exception of dental care, in Sweden patients need to pay minor costs for medical visits at all levels.
Hospitalization at home models
In both Region Västra Götaland and Valenciana new innovative models are tried out to gain more efficiency throughout the treatment chains for certain patient groups. Although they share a common purpose, the hospitalization at home version in Valencia is more established than the mobile teams which have not yet been implemented broadly in West Sweden.
Primary care and university hospital – linked or detached?
Maybe the biggest difference of all, is to what extent the primary care centres and university hospital are linked together. In Spain you have a family doctor who is your main contact point at your appointed primary centre situated in close vicinity to where you live. Should you need hospitalization, the medical staff at the hospital as well as at the primary care centre has access to the same medical records system. This is not the case in Region Västra Götaland yet, but is in the pipeline.
In Sweden freedom of choice for patients is valued higher. Especially at the primary care centre level where you are entitled to choose the centre you prefer, not necessarily the closest one. Although covered by the public health insurance with same price levels for the patients, there are both private and public primary care centres competing for the patients’ attention.
Experts in Transplant surgery and other national assignments
Both La Fe and Sahlgrenska University Hospital have many national assignments, the latter currently has more than any other hospital in Sweden. This is of course everything but a coincidence, highly specialized care and research go hand in hand on both sites. A fun fact is that in 2016 both hospitals performed the same amount of 320+ transplant surgeries, give and take a few.
Lastly La Fe got to listen to how Sahlgrenska International Care AB’s healthcare export contributes to Region Västra Götaland’s and Sahlgrenska University Hospital’s international footprint.
Thank you María Pilar Muñoz Muñoz, Monica Almiñana Riqué and the rest of the management of Hospital La Fe de Valencia for the vivid discussions and world class hospitality.
To summarize, there are still a lot of questions without immediate answers, healthcare systems evolve in different cultural settings. They are complex entities where tradition and renewal co-exist side by side, sometimes creating friction. Lets never stop exploring how to take the next step so that populations across Europe can continue to have access to a healthcare of highest quality. Regardless if it is in the country where they are registered or next door.
Apply for Specialist Training in Orthodontics
Interested in pursuing a career in Orthodontics? We have one open position for a Specialist Training Programme in Orthodontics starting in 2019. Read more about the programme layout and application process to see if this is the right spot for you. Note that the deadline for applications is November 22 2017.
We are looking forward to getting to know you!
Reconstructive Hand Surgery - spreading the word
Last week in Hungary, 42 participants from 24 countries learned more about Reconstructive Tetraplegia Hand Surgery and Rehabilitation. Thank you Professor Jan Fridén and occupational therapists Johanna Wangdell and Therese Ramström from Centre of Advanced Reconstruction of Extremities (CARE) at Sahlgrenska University Hospital for spreading the word so that more patients worldwide can benefit from the treatment in the future.
On Tour in Kenya
Anders Lygdman, Senior advisor in International aid at Sahlgrenska I.C., is usually at the office in Gothenburg, meeting the donor units around West Sweden or conducting follow up visits to our recipient countries. He also frequently represents Region Västra Götaland in conferences and networking meetings covering his area of expertise – material aid.
Welcome back Anders! Where have you been and why?
Thank you! I have been participating in the 2017 AidEX conference in Nairobi, Kenya. AidEX is a number of conferences held in different places that focus on aid and development. It is a two-day high-profile conference attracting over 500 professionals from all over the world. The theme for 2017 was Aid and Development Effectiveness: Results through transparency and accountability.
On location in Kenya I also took the opportunity to visit potential cooperation partners in the towns of Lodwar and Kisumu. I also got the opportunity to meet the Somalia section at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and inform them about our and our Swedish cooperation partners work in the health sector in Somalia.
Looking back on the visit on the plane home, what came into your mind?
I thought about the importance of networking and exchange of experiences, on all levels. A conference such as AidEX shows that there are a lot of good ideas out there that can feed into the work we are doing and enrich it. At the same time it is crucial to ensure the results of this kind of meetings are shared with all concerned, from donors to recipients, otherwise it will remain just ideas.
Now when you are back in the office, the real work begins. What is the next step?
In the coming weeks I will meet our Swedish partners and report back to them on these issues. There is always room for improvement and I know they are as eager as me to see how we can enhance our cooperation!
Summer at Sahlgrenska I.C.
Our office will be staffed from 9 am to 3:30 pm (CEST) July 17th to August 7th.
We wish all of our customers and partners worldwide a relaxing summer.
New Specialists in Periodontology
Sometimes a group consists of an ideal mix of people with the right balance of personalities and competencies. This is something we consider during the recruitment process, but the outcome can never be known on beforehand. These four strong individuals created a rare dynamic which was much appreciated by fellow colleagues and supervisors.
Takahiro is now bound for Hong Kong, while we get to keep the others a bit longer. Wherever in the world you decide to pursue your careers, we hope that the knowledge you gained here will be of great use.
Anders Lygdman, Senior advisor International aid at Sahlgrenska I.C. recently returned from a field trip to Somaliland. He was there to follow-up and evaluate the international aid Region Västra Götaland is supporting through our partner Human Bridge. Joining him on this tour around recipient hospitals was Jan Wandeby, project controller and biomedical technician at Human Bridge, Hussein Abyan, project coordinator for Somalia at Human Bridge and Håkan Bergström journalist at the newspaper Hallands Nyheter.
By doing these on-the-site visits it is possible to assess to what degree the donated medical equipment have been put into use, its functionality and follow the result in comparison to the need analysis made before the interventions. Also, it is of utmost importance to have a dialogue with the recipients, such as hospital management and health authorities, in order to safeguard transparency and to evaluate the donation process.
We could see the positive impact that our support has made for the low-resource environment that Somaliland health care providers operate in. Our donations of functional basic equipment, medical devices and consumables are a contribution which is needed and valued locally. For example; at the Hargeisa Group of Hospitals it was possible to see how equipment donated in 2014 still were in use every day and in Berbera District Hospital a recently donated ultrasound had started to make a significant change in the care given to future mothers. At Gabiley hospital, close to the Ethiopian border, the current drought has put pressure on scarce resources due to a massive influx of refugees and the full donation from Human Bridge had been put into action.
However, it was also evident that a careful assessment before each donation is necessary. Due to organizational weakness in general, and often in combination with lack of skilled staff, a donation always runs the risk to end up in a storage unused. Unfortunately this was the case at one of the hospitals. Measures have now been set into place to correct the situation, a fact that shows the importance of follow-up and dedicated monitoring. Each donation is a responsibility, not only for the receiver but also for the donator.
The delegation visited 10 hospitals in total (six in the capital Hargeisa, two in Berbera and one in Gabiley and Wajaale respectively. Out of these seven have received support from Human Bridge during the period 2014-2017. Anders Lygdman also revisited two hospitals that received their first medical equipment donations back in 2014.