Sunday, February 05, 2012

Swedish Lyme patients have to go to Norway for treatment

Picture from the Swedish radio page linked below
Pioneers Abroad Save Borrelia* Patients.
(Swedish Radio program - translated from this link. Also see the original post on this blog.)

Thousands of people suffer badly without receiving any help from Swedish health care.

After years of fruitless attempts to get treatment they turn abroad and get cured. But the patients have to pay the expensive treatments themselves since it's not recognized and approved by the Board of Health. They discard the treatment as dangerous and unscientific. Every year around 10 000 Swedes get Borrelia after being bitten by ticks. Almost all seek help and are cured by a brief round of antibiotics, if given immediately. But there are also several who do not seek help immediately, so the infection gets a grip on their bodies. A while later they get chronic Borrelia, an illness which, according to the Board of Health, doesn't exist. But in Norway & Germany patients are given antibiotics for up to a year, and get cured.

2008 was a tough year for Andrew, 45-year-old craftsman. His father passed away, he had stress at work, young children at home and his summer was ruined by a virus infection. During the autumn pain began in his arms and legs, and he sought treatment.

Antibiotics should never be longer than 30 days. That is the predominant route of many countries' health authorities. In Germany and at the Arena Clinic Borrelia Center in Oslo the patients are given aggressive antibiotics for a total of one or up to two years. Deadly, claims Welfare. - Not so, says Margaret Gabrielsson, who has just been declared healthy after two years of treatment.

Margaret and Andrew's stories are similar to that of many others. They are met by skepticism and neglect here in Sweden and so they go to the clinic in Oslo where they are met by listening, understanding health care professionals who take their concerns seriously. A whole new world opens for those Swedish patients.

Arena Clinic Borrelia Center in Oslo has helped thousands of people diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease to become healthy. But the costs mount up. Treatment is expensive. Blood sample analysis, dotors' visits, alternative treatments and not least, the aggressive antibiotic regimens were given either intravenously or in tablet form. A typical treatment takes about a total of two years and then the patient has been out of pocket somewhere between one hundred thousand and two hundred
thousand dollars.

In Norway the health authority pleased is pleased by dr. Rolf Luneng's work, but his clinic would never be here in Sweden. Anders Tegnell is Head of knowledge management at the National Board. It is he who gives out guidelines and guidance.

I wonder why Luneng's clinic is not allowed to be here in Sweden.

(*Borrelia: Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is an emerging infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia.)

1 comment:

ALMA LIBRE said...

A tick bite my 6 years old son last Saturday and Swedish medical system don't help us. They wait for symptoms of Lyme disease and AFTER they treat. We need to prevent the disease if he got it! I saved the tick to test it and they refused. Also they refused to make blood test to my son or give him antibiotic for prevention. PLEASE DO YOU KNOW WHICH DOCTOR CAN HELP MY SON?! Thank you!!!!

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