The SU round puts rings on the water in the primary care of Västra Götaland

Jacob Nyhlen. Photo: Medical Association of Västra Götaland

– In these times of very difficult austerity it becomes easy to “divide and conquer” of our politicians and civil servants, they like to pit primary care and hospital care against each other. We as trade unions should not fall for that, says Jakob Nyhlén, chairman of the primary care branch of the medical association of Västra Götaland.

Debate-loving and “divisive” politicians on Twitter are something that has long bothered him, and in June, Jakob Nyhlén and Hanna Kataoka, president of the Västra Götaland medical association section SU, speculated on how to show union unity. This fall, the intention is that they will go out together with doctors within the GGD. That precisely that administration is rooted in the fact that the ST doctors there, active in gynecology and pediatrics, “do not really fit everywhere”. On the one hand, they belong to the outpatient care of the region, on the other hand, large parts of the work are physically located on Sahlgrenska.

– We want to work together, we are a trade union that works together for the good of all members, says Jakob Nyhlén.

As Läkartidningen reported, the SU branch of the Västra Götaland Medical Association has also started what is called the “SU round”, where the various operations within Sahlgrenska University Hospital receive visits and information about union work. That, in turn, inspired primary care to start something similar. But visiting the region’s 200 geographically dispersed care centers stretched the bow a little too high, so the first “reasonable” step during the year is to visit the joint training sessions in public primary care.

– Among other things, we will tell you something about the salary check that we just completed and try to record questions, says Jakob Nyhlén.

What did this kind of union work look like in the past?

– There has probably been too little in the past, and it’s probably often due to the fact that we have a problem in primary care that few of us are unionized. In many health centers there may be someone who is an elected representative, and when it ends, there may not be anyone who thinks they know what it’s about and that they want to take on the job.

There is no explicit goal to increase the number of elected representatives, although that would of course be a welcome “side effect” as Jakob Nyhlén puts it. On the other hand, there is hope that members know who to turn to with trade union questions and that contacts can be made at an early stage as far as possible. Previously, it has gone so far that it has become a conflict and the union only intervenes when the difficult meetings begin.

– If you notice things early, it can sometimes be enough for the member to say “I’ve spoken to the union” and then the manager taps off. Either the boss, or the employee, has been on to something. Very simple things often work out, says Jakob Nyhlén.

And although the inspiration comes from the »SU round«, there is currently no real name for the project of the primary care section.

– We are not as good as section Sahlgrenska in finding funny titles for our projects.

Now all my prejudices about western Sweden were put to shame.

– Yes, unfortunately, we’ll have to come up with something really Gothenburg and come back.

Anna Popplewell

"Troublemaker. Typical travel fan. Food fanatic. Award-winning student. Organizer. Entrepreneur. Bacon specialist."

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