Sunday, September 12, 2010

Elizabeth Marklund of Piteå, Sweden - Serving the Good

This is a tribute to the efforts of an LPN nurse in Piteå, Sweden by the name of Elizabeth Marklund who has been fighting for a humane health care for patients with Dementia and other citizens with severe illness in her home town.  Here is another example of a person of compassion to take it upon herself to approach her profession in a proper manner and do what is best for her patients rather than go along with the politicians and self serving bureaucracts looking to their own comfort rather than the comfort of the people that they have failed to serve. 

For Elizabeth, I will pay her a tribute by giving her the title of a Server of the Good and wishing her all my best in all her future endeavors.  Our world needs more people like her.  She started her efforts in November of 2009 with an official letter of complaint to Socialstyrelsen, the government agency in charge of seeing to patients rights to good health and care in Sweden. It's clear that they didn't do their job if after almost a year nothing has changed.  Sweden has a funny system.  The State oversees and regulates the State.  Good system for the Politicians and Bureaucrats indeed.  Also, it's strange how those are lower levels in the organization are the one's blowing the whistle on corruption and unethical labor practices.  One rarely  hears of an RN or Doctor speaking up although it has been done here on rare occasions. Perhaps they have more to loose or are more disconnected from the patients.  Besides staff are required to sign in their contracts that they will remain silent about patients and workplace conditions and this is often used as a tool to control and threaten personal with breach of contract if they dare to speak up.  Also they are required to take all complaints directly to their boss and often the bosses never take any action.  Sounds more like the maffia than a healthcare agency.

She bought to the citizens attention the plight of eight Dementia patients in a facility in Piteå, Sweden who had one LPN to care for them per shift and no one over night.  They were locked and alarmed in over night.  Often the morning nurse would come in to find patients on the floor in the corridor lying in their own piss and shit.  These conditions were evident even though Swedish law states that overnight there should always be one RN on duty along with the LPN's and that patients cannot be locked in agains't their will.  So much for the law in the New Sweden that is more like the wild west than a progressive and civilized land.  It appears that criminality rules in the healthcare system while morality or ethics have taken a back seat.

When inspectors from the watchdog agency come to visit they have cake and coffee with the highest boss of the facility and never see or talk to staff or personal.  Elizabeth also stated that 30 million crowns was given to Piteå for healthcare and schools while at the same time the township had a profit of 24 million crowns. You make your own assumptions as to how tax money is being handled.

When the Social Democrat Politician in Piteå by the name of Peter Roslund was questioned on why the law was being broken, his answer was that we have limited resources and "that's not good". 

There was also a Debate Show on TV in which Elizabeth was present also with a Socialstyrelsen representation, Mr. Peter Roslund, and the Health Minister of Sweden who I affectionally refer to as little Maria Larson.  You see she was an LPN herself along with being a junior high teacher for a short while.  I suppose this makes her highly quilified to be a Health Minister.

Of course little Maria knew nothing about this.  Surprised, are you?  The others were serving excuses and party line statements without any substance or reality.

Elizabeth's statement directed at all these prominent officials was, "What do we do with our tax money?  We pay for egoism and greed and our leaders take more and more for themselves".  Good for you Elizabeth.  You hit the head on the nail.  Another good line of her's during the debate translates into, "We need Robin Hoods in our Society to steal back the money that the Politicians have stolen away from us".

I hope that many come to honor and support Elizabeth and join her in her efforts of seving the good in whatever form that takes within their own communities.

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