Karolinska Hospital board resigns

On Tuesday, the board members of the Karolinska Hospital gave up their seats effective immediately, reports Svenska Dagbladet. “The most important thing for us is the Karolinska University Hospital’s operations and success. We want to avoid  having a debate around the board and its work become a distraction and an obstacle for the continued work with the Karolinska University Hospital,” write the board members. Just before the press release was published, the Alliance in Stockholm County Council wrote an opinion piece in Dagens Nyheter, claiming they would appoint a new board in May. This was motivated by referring to all the economic scandals that the Nya Karolinska – which is still under construction – has suffered from. Now the Alliance claims that a “restart” is necessary.

Plans to build a Nya Karolinska Hospital (NKS) began in 2001 when the Stockholm County Council appointed a commission to investigate whether the Karolinska Hospital should be renovated or replaced entirely. The commission found that the costs of renovating the existing hospital would be comparable to the costs of substituting it, as well as that its facilities lacked the capacity to meet the demands of a top-of-the-line hospital. Today, the Nya Karolinska Hospital has been described by some as the most expensive hospital ever built. A 2011 report concluded that the project will have cost Swedish taxpayers SEK 61.4 billion by 2040. In our February edition of the Monthly Policy Review, we investigated what caused the endeavour to become so incredibly expensive. In particular, we looked at the unusual procurement contract that was used to sign the deal, and which politicians were responsible for its implementation. Furthermore, it provided an overview of the facts regarding recent allegations that the executive board of the hospital has ties much too close to the consultancy firm Boston Consulting Group.
In March 2018, Sweden’s finance minister, Magdalena Andersson (S) called for a government investigation into the reports of massive cost overruns and operational problems at Stockholm’s New Karolinska Hospital. Stockholm County Councillor, Irene Svenonius (M), accused Andersson of using the scandal for political ends.