Racism puts mothers at risk in Sweden

// 21 August 2007

Sweden has a reputation as one of the best countries in the world to give birth. But, according to a new study, the outlook is not so good for mothers born outside the Scandinavian country.

The Local reports that women born in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin American were 50% more likely to experience complications during labour. Women from Asia were 30% more likely to experience complications.

According to the researcher who carried out the study, this is down to racism within the Swedish healthcare system.

Eva Robertson, a researcher at the Karolinska Institute, says that the problem stems from discrimination in the healthcare system.

“There is a form of structural discrimination at play, whereby a patient has to fit into a certain mould in order to receive quality service and be listened to,” Robertson told Svenska Dagbladet.

She added:

“There are not many people in the healthcare system who recognize the problem but there are plenty of foreign-born women who experience it,” Robertson told Svenska Dagbladet.

Photo by P!ndaro, shared under a Creative Commons license

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