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News show: doctor must leave Sweden before applying

Accreditation, permit of residence, Swedish language, licensing, specialist training, et cetera.

26 okt 2012, 17:14

A local news show has included a segment about a doctor who has obtained a position at a general clinic but is required to leave Sweden prior to applying for residency and work permits, despite already having received a permission from Socialstyrelsen for working as a doctor - and despite the local shortage of doctors.

You can find the original article here:
SVT: "Trots läkarbrist - tvingas lämna Sverige"

Here is a manual translation by me (of the text as it was on October 26th):
Mahmoud is a stateless Palestinian and a new doctor and has just gotten his first job as a doctor. He is employed at the clinic in Gamleby in northern Småland since the beginning of September.

However, Mahmoud has to return to Lebanon in order to apply for residency and work permits.

Mahmoud:
"Just when I started working as a doctor, a letter from the Migration Authority informed me that I must return to Lebanon in order to apply for work and residency permits. The waiting time could be up to 9 months."

The Swedish law and regulations require that Swedish residency and work permit applications are submitted from the place where you are from. Since Mahmoud spent half a year in Lebanon prior to coming to Sweden, he is required to go back there even though he has no personal connection to the place.

During the 8 years Mahmoud has been living in Sweden, he has applied for permanent residency twice and was rejected both times. Since his parents and siblings live there, he was still been hoping that he could remain. He therefore supplemented his medical education and got approval from Socialstyrelsen for working as a doctor in Sweden.

Jörgen Regnell, clinical manager at the clinic:
"It is unfortunate, both for us and for Mahmoud himself, and we are already operating in the margins. We have a strained medical staffing, as with many other places in primary care. We have several vacant positions and there will be an additional vacancy now that we lose a colleague, so this will affect our working conditions."

SVT reporter:
"Should an exception be made for doctors?"

Jörgen Regnell:
"No, not specifically for doctors. But we have a shortage situation and it would have been a big benefit for us if we could have kept Mahmoud. The rules are as they are and I can not comment on them; the rules are not something which I can do anything about."
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26 okt 2012, 17:23

You can also see a report segment (in Swedish) on this topic here:
SVT Play, skip to 04:20 (only viewable until October 30th)

In that report segment, we also get comments from locals who dislike what is happening and we learn that Mahmoud can keep working until November before having to travel to Lebanon.
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