Sick in Stockholm
Do people in Stockholm get sick more than those in the rest of Sweden? No, on the contrary. According to new statistics from Stockholm’s county council, Stockholmers are younger, healthier and more well-educated than most—yet they visit their doctors more than people anywhere else in Sweden.

A person living in Stockholm sees the doctor on average almost twice a year. People in Östergötland and Örebro, go to the doctor only once a year. The same pattern applies to seeing specialists and utilizing private care. Stockholmers visit specialists 1.6 times a year, compared to the folks in Jämtland, who visit specialists 0.97 times a year.

Age usually determines how much healthcare we need; the older we are the more care we need. But Stockholm has the youngest population in all of Sweden; only 15 percent are 65 years and older. And people in Stockholm on an average enjoy better health, which is measured by mortality, for instance: Women and men in Stockholm have much lower mortality than the rest of the country. People in Stockholm are also better educated, something that usually leads to better overall health, since well-educated people in general eat healthier and work out more often. So what do these statistics tell us? According to the analysis they depend on a number of factors. First, there’s an enormous offer of health care in the capital of Sweden, secondly oftentimes you don’t even need a referral to see a specialist. Says Henrik Almkvist, a doctor in Stockholm: “Only the person who goes to a doctor can judge if he or she goes too often. If you feel a need to see a doctor, it is your right to do so. Even if the visit determines that you are in good health, it’s not an unnecessary visit.” Almkvist adds that perhaps people in the rest of Sweden don’t see their doctor often enough.