November 14, 2017
Sweden’s Mystery Illness: Resignation Syndrome
The year before, in 2015, 163,000 people applied for asylum in the country. Despite being heralded as the most “refugee-friendly” country in Europe, many refugees have difficulty in accessing the medical care they need.
Every year, Doctors of the World teams provide care for as many as 2,000 vulnerable people in Sweden. A large proportion of the people we see are refugees seeking asylum in the country. We offer free medical care, psychological support and legal advice to people who desperately need it.
Our health clinic in Stockholm has been open since 1995. At the clinic our patients can meet with doctors, nurses and even dentists. Most of our patients are unemployed or seeking asylum and we provide them with information about their rights and how to access public services.
We also operate mobile clinics that operate out of Stockholm, Uppsala and Skåne that focus on sexual and reproductive health and preventing the transmission of STIs.
An important part of our work in Sweden is the psychological support we provide to our patients. The patients we see have often experienced violence, instability and persecution in their home countries. On top of that, refugees and migrants in Sweden live in very stressful and precarious conditions which can severely affect their physical and mental health. We provide psychological support free of charge, and we also have staff working with refugee children experiencing Resignation Syndrome.