Debate: Do Mobile Phones Pose a Health Risk to Users?

mobileMobile telephones, also known as cellular/cell phones, have revolutionized global telecommunications by making it easier to communicate while moving, contrary to landline telephones which are fixed. With additional functions such as Short Message Service (SMS) for sending text messages and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) for sending pictures and videos, mobile phones have become necessary both in the corporate world and among ordinary users. However, there are conflicting reports about possible health risks for those who use them to talk for many hours.

Various studies conducted in the past have indicated that there is a health risk among heavy mobile phone users because they are exposed to radiofrequency (RF) emissions or radiation. But other reports indicate otherwise. For instance, a major study sponsored by the UK government in 1999 published a report titled the ‘Stewart Report’ in May 2000, which had no evidence that mobile phones caused any health risk. Instead, users were cautioned to limit their usage to short calls. It was recommended that children should be kept away from using them, unless during emergencies. Children have less developed skulls which might be penetrated by radio waves compared to adults, who have more developed ones. These results were reiterated by Sir Stewart, the research leader, in a follow-up report in 2005.

Nevertheless, Sir Stewart’s clean bill of health is not shared by the results of other studies which warn that those who have used mobile phones consistently for 10 years run the risk of developing brain tumor, various cancers, stroke, headaches and memory loss. Interestingly, the results of these studies also depend upon the sponsors/funders, the group studied and location. Certain laboratory tests on mice exposed to RF waves have revealed disease links, but it is not known whether human beings would be similarly affected.

According to a November 25, 2003 report by CBC News titled ‘Can cellphone use lead to cancer?’ in a six-year research sponsored by the American cell phone industry amounting to $28 million, scientist George Carlo concluded that there were no adverse side effects in using mobile phones. In 1997, Dr. Carlo headed the Washington-based Wireless Technology Research group, which carried out the study. His findings were dismissed by other scientists as skewed in favor of the industry.

Ironically, his research on rats found that mobile phones could cause genetic damage, leading to tumors which may develop into cancer. In addition, the findings of a smaller study on humans conducted during the six-year research period indicated increased tendency of tumors among users. Dr. Carlo then recommended that the industry caution users about possible health risks, but they were not amused. He said: “When they found that we had findings of genetic damage and increasing risk of cancer they cut off our money completely.”

Dr. Carlo’s recommendations were put aside and the industry began lobbying for studies by respectable world health bodies within the United Nations, to allay the cellphone fears. Meanwhile, the American cellphone industry made booming business by selling add-ons like hands-free gadgets to enable users keep the handsets away from their heads. It is claimed that the further away one’s head is from the handset, the lesser the exposure. Years later, Dr. Carlo has turned out to be a critic of the industry; he writes and speaks openly about his findings.

RF safety guidelines
The World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet updated in 2000, on the adverse effects of exposure to RF by mobile phone users, identified certain areas of research to improve risk assessment. This was informed by the results from its own findings in November (1999); and those of the Royal Society of Canada (1999) and the Stewart Report (IEGMP, 2000). The following were related to health factors:

* Cancer: Current scientific evidence indicates that exposure to RF fields, such as those emitted by mobile phones and their base stations, is unlikely to induce or promote cancers. Several studies of animals exposed to RF fields similar to those emitted by mobile phones found no evidence that RF causes or promotes brain cancer. While one 1997 study found that RF fields increased the rate at which genetically engineered mice developed lymphoma, the health implications of this result is unclear. Several studies are underway to confirm this finding and determine any relevance of these results to cancer in human beings. Three recent epidemiological studies found no convincing evidence of increase in risk of cancer or any other disease with use of mobile phones.

* Other health risks: Scientists have reported other effects of using mobile phones including changes in brain activity, reaction times, and sleep patterns. These effects are small and have no apparent health significance. More studies are in progress to try to confirm these findings.

* Driving: Research has clearly shown an increased risk of traffic accidents when mobile phones (either handheld or with a “hands-free” kit) are used while driving.

* Electromagnetic interference: When mobile phones are used close to some medical devices (including pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, and certain hearing aids) there is the possibility of causing interference. There is also the potential of interference between mobile phones and aircraft electronics.

RF safety guidelines are also recommended at country levels, depending on research findings and improved levels of radiation on newer models of mobile phones. For instance, Canada has the following recommendations:

* When you see only one or two bars on your phone’s display, it means the signal is weak and your phone is trying harder to connect with the tower. That’s when radiation is highest. Wait until all the bars are there for less radiation.

* Radiation is also higher when you first place a call, as your phone seeks a connection. If you wait until the call has connected, your exposure will be lower.

* Keep your calls short — shorter calls means less exposure.

New findings, more confusion, more fear
On October 24, 2006 the Guardian newspaper (UK) reported that chatting too long on the mobile phone may reduce male sperm count. This was based on the results of a study on 361 men who attended a fertility clinic in the US. Those that spent over four hours a day on the phones had a steady decline of sperm quality and ability to swim. Probably the radiation from cellphones damage human DNA and interfere with cells producing testosterone. However, another scientist outside this group disputed the findings because the handset is normally on the ear, which is far from the groin. If users held them closer to the groin in cases where they had sedentary jobs, or while traveling, then heat could impact sperm quality. The study was not conclusive and called for further research, but urged men to remain cautious.

The results of another study reported on October 7, 2007 by The Independent newspaper (UK), asserted that talking on a mobile for one hour each working day increased the risk of getting a malignant tumor on the side of the brain mostly used. The study, carried out by two Swedish Professors, analyzed the results of 11 studies that had investigated the prevalence of tumors among people who have used mobile phones for more that 10 years. The results showed that all had increased risk. Similar risks were found in the long-term use of cordless phones. Users were cautioned to limit their talking period and use landlines for long calls. Various cancers develop within a minimum of 10 years, although some may develop later, raising fears of a global epidemic, especially among current young users. It may take many years to know if this group will be affected because of their prolonged usage.

Despite these results, the British Health Protection Agency and the Mobile Operators Association cautioned that they were not conclusive and posed no health risks according to phones that comply with international guidelines. Radiation from mobile phones, their masts and Wi-Fi installations was indicative of a risk, but not harmful.

Other studies using various cohorts and methods concluded that there were no increased risks of brain tumor or cancer among users. See for instance: the BBC (November 6, 1999); Powerwatch (December 7, 2006); the BBC (January 20, 2006); The Independent (September 13, 2007); Newsweek (December 17, 2007) and The Guardian (February 6, 2008). The Mobile Operators Association website has a collection of reports on mobile phone research since 1996. (http://www.mobilemastinfo.com/independent-health-reports/

A study conducted in Israel and reported by the BBC on February 18, 2008 concluded that heavy cell phone users were likely to develop a salivary gland tumor on the side of the head exposed to handsets. A control group of 500 Israelis was compared to 1,300 healthy ones. Another key finding indicated that rural users were exposed to higher risk, compared to urban users because of the weak transmission signals due to the distances to base stations. Therefore, strong signals were required to work effectively, which increased radiation. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7250372.stm)


Conclusion

Regardless of all the contradicting study outcomes which indicate no increased risks in using mobile phones, it is important for manufacturers and users to abide by the safety guidelines by WHO and other relevant authorities. “The electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic to humans.” (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/) Further, results of the Interphone study which had the largest number of participants to control cellphone use and brain tumors, were published in 2010: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2010/pdfs/pr200_E.pdf

Mobile phone users in developing countries need to be informed of their potential risks because signals there are relatively weak even in urban areas, since base stations are not as many, compared to those in developed countries.

In Africa for instance, there are no known studies assessing the risks of prolonged exposure to mobile phones, yet it is a lucrative market for key players from the Western world and Asia. If it turns out that mobile phones are really dangerous, then a global public health catastrophe could occur. Therefore, more research is required.

Jared Odero

32 comments

  • Mobile phones and cancer

    So far, the scientific evidence shows it is unlikely that mobile phones could increase the risk of cancer. But we do not know enough to completely rule out a risk.

    In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified mobile phones for the first time in their ‘gold-standard’ rating system. They rated the devices as ‘group 2B’ – meaning that they could ‘possibly’ cause cancer in humans. Read more about the new classification on our Science Update Blog.

    What does the evidence say?

    Looking at all the evidence together suggests that mobile phones do not increase the risk of brain tumours, or any other type of cancer.

    The largest study so far on mobile phones and cancer is part of the Million Women Study and included around 790,000 women. It found no link between use of mobile phones and brain cancer in general or 18 other types of cancer. The researchers found no link between mobile phone use and risk of the two most common types of brain tumour (glioma and meningioma), but did see a raised risk of one rare type of brain tumour (acoustic neuroma) for women who had used mobile phones for at least five years. The scientists who ran this study think this result could be down to chance, because they investigated many different types of cancer. They also think that if there truly was an increased risk of acoustic neuroma with mobile phone use, this would cause a rise in rates of the disease in the general population. There has been no such rise over the last decade, when long-term use of mobile phones increased substantially. So for now there is some uncertainty over whether mobile phones might increase the risk of this rare type of tumour.

    A Danish study, which looked at over 420,000 people, found no link between mobile phones and any type of cancer including acoustic neuroma, other brain tumours and leukaemia. Reports from the Interphone study, which included over 6,000 people with brain cancer from 13 countries, have also found that brain cancer is not more common among mobile phone users.

    Some studies have suggested that people with brain cancer are more likely to have tumours on the side of their head that they say they hold their phone to. But in these studies, their overall risk of brain cancer is usually not any higher. And in some cases, they were less likely to develop a tumour on the opposite side of their head.

    This strange “side-of-head effect” is probably due to problems with the way the research studies were designed. These studies ask people with cancer to remember how they used their phones, often many years ago.

    But they may not be able to accurately remember the details about their phone use. And, more importantly, some people’s answers may be biased if they had previously heard about a connection between phones and cancer in the media. Their tumours could also affect their memory.

    Research in this field is still ongoing and Cancer Research UK will continue to look for any new evidence.

    Mobile phones and cancer incidence

    The use of mobile phones has skyrocketed since the 1980s. If mobile phones increase the risk of brain cancer, more and more people should now be developing this disease.

    But studies in the USA, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland have found that the numbers of people with brain cancer have not changed very much. And in the UK, the incidence of brain cancer has been constant for years. However, brain cancers can take many years to develop, so it is possible that these trends would only start rising after more time.

    Is the radiation from mobile phones dangerous?

    There still aren’t any good explanations for how mobile phones could cause cancer. The microwave radiation they transmit and receive is very weak. This radiation does not have enough energy to damage DNA, and cannot directly cause cancer.

    Mobile phones also produce small amounts of heat in the brain, but again, not enough to pose a health risk. Scientists have put forward other theories, but, so far, none of them have been conclusively proven, despite a lot of research.

    In 2000, the UK signed up to a set of international safety standards, which set a limit on the amount of radiation given off by phones. These limits have a very large safety margin to protect people who may be more sensitive to phone radiation, such as children.

    Masts and base stations

    Mobile phone masts and base stations are unlikely to increase your cancer risk either. The exposure you would get from a base station is usually at least a hundred times below international guidelines. And it is much less than the exposure you would get from a phone.

    There is a health risk…

    So far, the only health issue firmly associated with mobile phones is an increased risk of car accidents! People who use mobile phones while driving, even with a hands-free kit, are easily distracted and are four times more likely to be involved in an accident.

    Taking precautions

    Mobile phones are a recent invention. So far, studies have indicated that using these phones for about 10 years is safe. But we cannot be completely sure about their long-term effects. There have not been enough studies looking at how mobile phones could affect the health of children.

    Research is underway to fill both of these gaps in our knowledge. Until we get a conclusive answer, the Government recommends that people take precautions.

    It says that if adults want to use a mobile phone, they could choose to minimise their exposure by keeping calls short. And children under the age of 16 should only use mobile phones for essential calls, because their head and nervous systems may still be developing.
    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/cancercontroversies/mobilephones/

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  • Maybe author look at new study and WHO statement “RF fields have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). Studies to date provide no indication that environmental exposure to RF fields, such as from base stations, increases the risk of cancer or any other disease” http://www.who.int/features/qa/30/en/
    “The Nordic Countries adopted their criteria regarding radiation exposure limits, which include mobile and wireless LAN-related (WLAN/Wi-Fi) communication, following the Council of European Union 1999/519/EC recommendation. It is based on exposure guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
    In May 2011, the WHO’s (World Health Organisation) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decided to classify radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as potentially cancerous to humans. This came after they had examined scientific publications on cancer risks.
    “This classification was mainly based on the results of a few epidemiological studies indicating an elevated risk of brain cancer among adult mobile phone users,” explained Nordic Countries authorities.
    “Since 2011, a number of epidemiological studies on mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours and other tumours of the head have been published. The overall data on brain tumour and mobile phone use do not show an effect on tumour risk,” they added.”
    http://theforeigner.no/pages/news/no-basis-for-mobile-induced-health-fears-say-nordic-officials/

  • A french Racist White supremacist urinated and injected a Nigger -upper-class elite woman <<…………..http://www.nation.co.ke/counties/nakuru/French-man-urinating-court-case-Oasis-Lodge-Gilgil/-/1183314/2157524/-/hxbvuvz/-/index.html

  • The Thieving Kikuyu thug > A teenager armed Kikuyu boy with toy pistols Kikuyu youth >

  • Kizongo Lumumba &others

    Oppen Letter to Uhuru Kenyatta>The Jubilee administration is facing increasing pressure over corruption allegedly taking root at high levels and influencing tenders worth billions of shillings.

    The latest salvo was fired Sunday when Uongozi, an advocacy group associated with the former anti-corruption czar John Githongo, wrote an open letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta asking him to suspend the Sh425 billion Mombasa-Malaba railway project until all questions that have been raised over the tender are answered.

    “We write to you as patriot citizens in good faith, to share our deepening concerns regarding a number of issues which in our humble view threaten the soul of our beloved nation,” the group said in the letter signed by Mr Githongo, Dr PLO Lumumba and Mr Tom Mboya.

    “We have reached a critical tipping point hence our decision to address you… Given the whiff of irregularity, it is our submissions that it would be prudent to immediately terminate the current process and begin a transparent process afresh, so as to ensure efficiency and value for money.”

    COMMITTED TO FIGHTING GRAFT

    But on Sunday, the spokesman for the Presidency, Mr Manoah Esipisu, said Mr Kenyatta was committed to the fight against corruption.

    “The President has even launched a website on which to report any cases. He is always in touch with anti-corruption agencies,” he said.

    Deputy President William Ruto also declared that the government would neither engage in business with corrupt cartels nor accept to be held to ransom.

    “We are here to serve all Kenyans, not a few greedy individuals,” Mr Ruto said at St Monica ACK church, Dandora during a thanksgiving service for Embakasi North MP James Mwangi Kaguya.

    “No one and nothing will stop us from building the railway, building the roads, giving children laptops and doing irrigation among other pledges as enunciated in our manifesto.”

    Earlier, the Consumer Federations of Kenya warned that the rising number of corruption cases could make the cost of living too high for Kenyans as cartels will block the flow of cheaper services to the public.

    “This is no longer just about the government because it has demonstrated that it has a weak ability to fight corruption,” said Cofek secretary-general Stephen Mutoro.

    Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said some of the cases could take long to be concluded.

    “These scandals seem to be in succession, but the EACC is very much aware. If we get a good case, we will let everyone know,” said Mr Yasin Amaro, the commission’s public communications officer.

    Since May, questions have been raised on some of the government’s investment and expenditure decisions. Among the most prominent was the controversial hiring of a luxury jet for the Deputy President, the airport expansion project, repair works on the Deputy President’s official house in Karen and the multi-billion-shilling railway tender.

    This month, the controversial Tassia NSSF project has come to light after Mr Francis Atwoli, the Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary-general called it “the scandal of the year” for supposedly going forward without a formal board approval.

    Yesterday, Mr Atwoli, who has since written to the Ombudsman to complain about the project, said every participant in the scandal should be punished regardless of status.

    “Cotu wishes to see any individual involved in defrauding Kenyans dealt with irrespective of his/her political persuasions,” he told journalists in a statement.

    SUSPENDED PROJECT

    Last week, Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi suspended the Sh5.053 billion housing venture to allow time to address Cotu’s complaints.

    The renewed focus on corruption comes just a day after key Jubilee coalition figures led by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Senate Majority leader Kithure Kindiki gave President Kenyatta an ultimatum to expose corruption cartels tainting his administration.

    Speaking at a funeral in Kieni, Nyeri, the leaders claimed that corruption networks were blackmailing the government by pretending to expose graft after losing out on lucrative procurement deals.

    The leaders seemed to be targeting critics of the railway project led by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter, who has claimed that the tender was riddled with corruption.

    The MPs accused Mr Keter and other Jubilee critics of being used by merchants and wheeler-dealers who were out to discredit the government and derail important projects after losing out on tenders.

    They cited the networks inherited from the Kibaki government, such as those behind the Anglo-Leasing scandal, which they claimed were still in government and trying to resume their activities.

    The railway deal is the subject of investigations by two parliamentary committees.

    Starehe MP Maina Kamanda, who chairs the Transport Committee, hit out at unnamed individuals who have allegedly infiltrated the government to try and influence decision-making.

    Mr Kamanda accused the individuals of seeking to hold the government to ransom.

    Speaking to the Nation on condition of confidentiality, a State House official agreed with the claims made by the Jubilee MPs.

    “It is a motley of groups that have had long interest in government. They are so deep in government that nothing can happen without them having their hands on it,” the source said. “They are the reason some of the projects have not taken place even though money was released.

    They are now back seeking to demonise the grand projects like the railway.”

    CARTELS

    Senator Kipchumba Murkomen also spoke of cartels who he accused of seeking to hold the government to ransom.

    Senate Majority leader Kithure Kindiki had earlier said a few wealthy people were using their connections to intimidate people in government to award them tenders.

    “You can intimidate some people some time, but you cannot intimidate all the people all the time,” he said.

    And Mr Duale cautioned the cartels against using the courts to achieve their goals, saying Kenya now has a reformed Judiciary that did not condone corruption.

    Reports by Bernard Namunane, Aggrey Mutambo and Ouma Wanzala

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  • Dariusz: Many thanks for the input. A recent scientific review by Hardell and Carlberg (2013) had the following conclusion:

    “Based on Hill’s viewpoints and his discussion on how these issues should be used, the conclusion of this review is that glioma and acoustic neuroma are caused by RF-EMF emissions from wireless phones. According to the IARC Preamble (54), the classification should be group 1, i.e., “the agent is carcinogenic to humans”, and urgent revision of current guidelines for exposure is needed.”
    See: http://www.c4st.org/images/documents/Hardell-Carlberg-Rev-Env-Health-2013.pdf

    More info at: http://www.c4st.org/

    •The entry in theforeigner.no is interesting although there is a caveat:

    “At the same time, officials cite that research data is limited regarding long-term mobile phone usage for a period of longer than 12 years.

    It is also “too early to draw firm conclusions when it comes to risk for brain tumours for children and adolescents, but the available literature to date does not show an increased risk,” they said.

    Officials also argued there are “methodological limitations” regarding recent studies looking at mobile-related health connections for diseases other than cancer, even though these have revealed “some effects”.

    At the same time, they suggest that methodological limitations prevent firm conclusions when it comes to casual associations.

    “The number of studies for each outcome is relatively small, and consistency between various studies cannot be addressed,” authorities remarked.”

    •The Conclusion section by WHO is equally interesting but calls for further research:

    “While an increased risk of brain tumours from the use of mobile phones is not established, the increasing use of mobile phones and the lack of data for mobile phone use over time periods longer than 15 years warrant further research of mobile phone use and brain cancer risk. In particular, with the recent popularity of mobile phone use among younger people, and therefore a potentially longer lifetime of exposure, WHO has promoted further research on this group and is currently assessing the health impact of RF fields on all studied endpoints.”

  • Do Mobile-phone pose health risks>Yes See &Watch here>>>>

  • Why are Kikuyus supporting such a magnitude of Corruption when their poor villagers are suffering from jiggers in Central Province?:::::::::::::::::::——
    To accommodate the atrocious kickback, the tender was thus inflated by 46 per cent. The quartet shared out a staggering Sh32 billion (with the three state officers each receiving 30 per cent of the cut). A notorious Mombasa wheeler-dealer of Asian descent who brokered the deal took home a cool Sh3.2 billion, according to impeccable sources. By all standards, this is the most expensive bribe in Kenya’s history – far much bigger than the Sh13-billion Goldenberg infamy of the 1990s”.

    “The taxpayer stands to lose a whopping Sh110 billion in inflated pricing, according to railway construction costing made available to this publication by Industry experts. The benchmark in this case is the Addis-Djibouti railway whose construction is to complete in 2015. “The unit cost of Mombasa-Nairobi railway is 49.3 percent higher than the unit cost of the 743km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway,” said a report by one of the Industry experts working at the Ministry of Transport headquarters, Transcom House”.

    “For legal reasons, this publication will not divulge identity details of the four swindlers of the public purse. However, we cannot hesitate to report that an immediate former Cabinet minister, a senior official in Ministry of Transport, and a top politician are the architects of the ignominious plan. They connived with an infamous Asian fixer who operates within Kenya Ports Authority and has vast business interests at the Coast”.

    http://www.nairobilawmonthly.com/modules/frontpage/php/fullview_content.php?mode=0&multi=0&type=0&pos=0&limit=0&id=891

    Read more: http://jukwaa.proboards.com/thread/8839/standard-gauge-railway-which-kenya#page=2#ixzz2rojdStlD

  • A Stupid Embu -Kikuyu Hore Governor Fighting like a fool>

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  • Demo after police shot and killed a bus-tout for failing to bribe the corrupt cop ksh.50 ,Still the killer cop is scot-free . hence police protecting their colleges>

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LetIWmEuoL0>Watch the killer cop who killed a tout for failing to bribe the cop with ksh.50. The killer-cop is still scot-free hence college protection>

  • It is better to impeach Uhuru Kenyatta Government>>>

  • This is Wonderful A Man from Califonia State was the first to carry a wedding with his Dog (pet) Animal ?Here >
    http://www.kenya-today.com/entertainment/california-allows-first-ever-state-recognized-human-animal-marriage-2

  • Där fanns en vårdare som jag kallade för Gagarin, troligen för att många av mina drömmar handlade om rymdfärder. Varje morgon kom han i gummistövlar likt en militär för att sköta tvätt av de gamla. Hela morgontvätten påminde mycket om en biltvätt. In med rullstolen och av med nattskjortorna och sedan spolades kropp och underrede, effektivt och snabbt. För mig som låg i rummet och lyssna lät det inte trevligt med de många och ofta höga hårda kommandoord som Gagarin omgav sig med.

    Men där fanns även många trevliga, en sköterska berätta att hon i smyg hade tagit bort den otäcka plasten från min madrass och även bytt ut lakan till en bättre tjockare kvalité. En annan sköterska var snäll och hjälpte en kvinna som ramlat, men hon fick sluta på avdelningen, pratade för mycket med patienten och det hade man inte tid med 1977.

    En senil gammal dam satt varje dag ensam i rullstolen och med en sorgsen blick titta hon på ett glas fylld med röd saft. Jag började dansa lite framför henne, ville pigga upp henne, då log hon åt mig. Ju piggare jag blev desto mer kunde jag hjälpa till. En äldre man skulle ena gången röka och andra gången andas syrgas för att lungorna var slut cancer så jag drog honom i rullstolen från det ena rummet till det andra. Men det mesta kunde jag inte annat än iakttaga. En helt naken man låg i sängen och skrek av cancersmärtor. Måste vara hopplöst och tungt att jobba på dessa avdelningar, men förvisso fanns det även en värme och förtröstan. Ja det känns konstigt att redan ha varit på besök inom långvården.

    Efteråt har mina tankar ofta gått till dem som arbetar inom vården och skulle önska att vi värdesatte vårdpersonalens arbete bättre genom högre löner och bättre arbetsvillkor.

    Nattpersonalen hade emellertid hittat ett sätt att värdera upp sig själva några gram, detta kom även mig till godo, nu när jag börja bli frisk och åter en snäll patient. Av kortison blir man hungring, sugen på mat, fast timmen var sen. Såg det lyste uti köket, tassa dit i strumplästen, vad fick jag se, om inte en liten fest på enkelt vis. Framdukat var resterna från dagens måltider, det var bara att snällt bocka och jag var en i gänget. Tack för goda nattmackor!

    En dag i oktober när gångvägarna började fyllas av gula höstlöv kom min arbetsgivare på besök. Tack Sven, för att du vågade hit och hälsa på mig. Vi gick där i gruset på frihetens väg och prata framtidsplaner.

    Till sist vad en manlig vårdare sa till mig när jag började känna skam och skuld för alla mina tokigheter: ” Du kan ta det som en vanlig förkylning, alla blir vi väl förkylda någon gång.”. Tack för dessa små kloka tänkvärda ord.

    Blev utskriven och hemma vänta min hustru och dotter som hade lärt sig gå sina första egna steg i livet. Vi sålde både sommarstuga och lägenhet samt flytta till en radhusidyll i Barkarby. Och livet återgick till en vardag.

    Efterord
    Tack alla som läst min berättelse. Den är nedskriven ur minnet 1992, innan stängningen av våra mentalsjukhus började 1995. Mjälten ställde till det för mig under ett antal ungdomsår, men min grundsjukdom heter SLE. Det bedrivs idag en stor forskning kring de autoimmuna sjukdomarna bl.a. hur SLE 80-90 kvinnor patienter uppvisar en ökad risk för bl.a. blodpropp åderförkalkning.

    Beckomberga Sjukhusbyggnader är idag omsvärmat av nya bostäder men ännu har våra myndigheter inte riktigt klart för sig vad de vackra byggnaderna och parken kan användas till. De stora fastighetsbolagen bl.a. NCC och Veidekke vill åt den attraktiva marken för att bygga bostäder som ger hög marknadsavkastning. Beckomberga -den nya idyllen i Bromma, som man idag säger i reklamen.

    Märkligt är att byggnaden som 1977 innehöll “Medicinskt Centrum” nu åter har kommit igång som sjukhus under det statusklingande namnet “Bromma Sjukhus”. Hela Stockholm västerorts geriatrik äldrevård genomförs för övrigt av Stockholms Sjukhem på uppdrag av Landstinget. Stockholms Sjukhem drivs av en ideell stiftelse hoppas de har bra revisorer där Bromma Sjukhus nu ingår. I reklamen ler alla lyckligt och alla patienter kunder verkar få besök. Jag undrar vem som idag gör urvalet av patienter, vem vinner och vilka försvinner. Nya chefsläkaren säger att det är jättespännande nu när vi “kunder” själva ska får välja.

    Mitt sjukintyg har jag kvar från 1977 litet papper i A5 format. I dag skrivs intyg på två stora A4 sidor och benämns byråkratiskt som ” Medicinskt Underlag – för bedömning av rätt till sjukpenning och eventuellt behov av rehabilitering”. Läkaren Mokoena, namnet återfinns på intyget, är idag verksam som professor i Sydafrika info från Internet. Hon var för övrigt den första mörkhyade som jag mött inom svenska sjukvården, en strålande personlighet.

    Läkarna måste idag ägna mycket tid till att fylla i blanketter och byråkratin är troligen värre än den var i forna öststaterna. Försäkringskassans köpta förtroende läkare har mindre förtroende för läkarna ute i vården, de ser bara kostnaderna. Byråkratiskt sammansatt läkaregrupp har även bestämt att sjuk ska bli frisk på två månader efter en stroke eller gå direkt till jobbet efter en blindtarmsoperation. Ren dårskap skulle jag vilja säga, i Sverige får vi inte vara sjuka. God vårdkvalitet blir allt mer en fråga mellan fattig utslängd utan sjukhus och rik inlagd på privatsjukhus. Kanske kommer åter tiden då obemedlade får gå till ” kloka gubbar o gummor”.

    Vart tog då alla psykiskt sjuka vägen efter reformen 1995 reform förbättring? Svaret på det kanske någon professor kan svara på. År 1977 var det i alla fall sällsynt med tiggare och uteliggare i Stockholm. Nu för tiden möter jag dem tyvärr var gång jag åker in till city.
    På Maranatas Pilgrimshotell i f.d. Bällsta skola, har bl.a. Sundbybergs kommun till hög kostnad betalt för boende av psykiskt sjuka, men då ingår förstås friska böner och tungomålstal. Tror även Christer Pettersson bodde där ett tag. Många sjuka från Stockholms län finns idag inlagda på psykiatriska kliniker i andra delar av landet, kanske 40-50 mil bort och besöken från anhöriga och bekanta blir inte många. Till detta kommer ett ökat antal ensamboende som har hemvård.

    Mitt förslag vore att bygga om Beckombergas vackra sjukhusbyggnaderna till hyreslägenheter för äldre och andra med olika handikapp, då kanske vi kan uppnå något av den positiva mångfald som alla politiker pratar om. Ett blandat boende i idyllen.

    Till sist: Vi måste mera bry oss om varandra. Inte glömma eller gömma långt borta, vi måste ställa krav att gamla, sjuka och handikappade får vara oss nära. Våra institutioner, oavsett ägarförhållanden måste leva upp till alla vackra fraser. Bort med de orimliga avkastningskrav inom vården, bort med minutdebiteringstänkande, fram för ökad humanitet, godhet och en bättre vårdetik helt enkelt. Till en god vårdetik hör bl.a. en bra personalpolitik med tillräckligt antal fast anställda. Vi ska inte som patient ej heller som skolelev dagligen behöva möta för oss nya ansikten. Och militära Gagarin-typer kan vi lämna i den röda himlen.

    Av Lars-Erik Larsson 14 jan 2008 15:39

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