Professor of neurosurgery discusses Sweden's COVID strategy

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The Penn State Department of Health Policy and Administration will host “Overview of the Swedish COVID Strategy: Background and Reasoning on How Policies Have Been Enforced,” at 9 a.m. EST Feb. 23  via Zoom. The talk will feature Lennart Persson, professor of neurosurgery, Uppsala University, Sweden. Registration is not required for the event.

Dr. Persson’s talk will discuss the strategy the country of Sweden took when the COVID-19 pandemic first began in spring 2020.

Sweden‘s pandemic strategy is based on providing recommendations and information to the public. Sweden relied primarily on voluntary measures to reduce the spread of infection which differed from most other countries.

“The underlying idea communicated by the Public Health Agency of Sweden (Swedish CDC) was that the spread of the virus could not be stopped, only slowed down to allow the health care system to cope with those affected by COVID-19,” said Persson.

When a second and harder wave hit Sweden during the fall of 2020, the initial strategy was augmented with mandatory measures that were made possible by The Pandemic Act , a new law that was passed by Parliament in December 2020.

Persson will discuss:

  • The main measures that were implemented towards individuals and restrictions imposed on public meeting places,
  • How the pandemic has affected nations around the world,
  • How the tourism industry has been affected in some European countries, and
  • The success of the Swedish strategy.

Persson served as chairman and head of the Department of Neurosurgery and Clinical Neuroscience Center at Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden from 1992 – 2006. He developed one of the first specialized neurointensive care units in the world. He also pioneered intracerebral microdialysis for clinical use, a method that is now widely used in a number of neurosurgical departments throughout the world.

Upon his retirement, Persson worked as chief executive officer of Uppsala University Hospital from 2011-15. Persson has also served as senior adviser to the Minister of Health and Social Affairs, as well as various Swedish government agencies. He is now an independent consultant and adviser in the areas of hospital management and clinical design of new health care facilities, working with foreign governments, governmental agencies, regional health care providers and the international pharma, biotech and health care industries.

Last Updated February 03, 2021