Sweden

Sweden has a vast culture, including several notable monuments
Sweden has a vast culture, including several notable monuments

Sweden has a vast culture that is represented with several monuments such as the Drottningholm Palace and Stockholm Palace.

Otherwise there are plenty of attractions for the whole family such as Skansen, an open-air museum and zoo.

Visiting Sweden

Over 591,000 British nationals visited Sweden in 2012, which can be reached from the United Kingdom by many means of transport.

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, can be reached by an airplane travelling from London in around two-and-half-hours on a non-stop flight.

Driving this trip, meanwhile, can take 22 hours, while taking the train from St Pancras Station will require at least a full day’s travelling time, plus a few extra hours.

If you are uncertain about managing your diabetes while travelling to Sweden you should discuss this with your diabetes team.http://x.bidswitch.net/sync?ssp=switchconceptshttp://match.adsrvr.org/track/cmf/generic?ttd_pid=switchconcepts

Time difference

Sweden is one hour ahead of British Summer Time and two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, which should not greatly affect your diabetes management.

Climate

Sweden generally has a colder climate than the UK, with similar summer temperatures but much more severe winters which regularly see the average temperature fall below freezing.

Currency

The Swedish Krona is the currency of Sweden, although ATMs are frequently available and most major credit cards (some restriction may apply to American Express) are widely accepted throughout Sweden at banks, hotels, shops and restaurants.

Vaccinations

There are no mandatory vaccinations required to enter Sweden, however rabies is present in bats in Sweden, so it is advised for those planning activities in remote areas that put them at risk for bat bites to receive a rabies vaccine. 

Get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

Sweden is amongst the European countries that allow you to receive state healthcare either at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for medical treatment until you return to the UK.

It is best to apply for an EHIC card directly through the NHS. Your card will usually arrive within seven days if you have applied through the NHS, but it is best to apply two weeks in advance to allow for any delays.

Access to medication

Medication is available in Sweden, but payment is required from a pharmacy, for which the Swedish translation is ‘Apotek’.  However, possessing an EHIC card allows you to receive treatment at a lesser cost and this money can be recouped when you get back into the UK.

Most Norwegian pharmacies are open from Monday to Friday between 1000-1800 and 1000-1400 on Saturdays, although this can vary locally. In every major city you will be able to find a 24-hour pharmacy.

The number to be called in case of an emergency in Sweden is 112.

Insulin

You should note which syringes are available in Sweden, with U-100 syringes the most commonly used.

The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.

For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.

Diabetes associations

It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency.

There are two diabetic associations in Sweden. The contact details and addresses are is:

  • Svenska Diabetesforbundet (a member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) since 1950),
    PO Box 1107,
    Sturegatan 4A,
    172 22 Sundbyberg,
    Sweden
    Telephone: +46-8-56482100
    Email: info@diabetes.se
  • Swedish Society for Diabetology (a member of the IDF since 1991),
    c/o Endocrine and Diabetes Center,
    Dpt of Internal Medicine, Central Hospit,
    65185 Karlstad,
    Sweden
    Email: stefan.jansson@orebroll.se

Questions

  • How is blood glucose measured in Sweden? Unfortunately, we do not have the information of whether blood glucose is measured in mg/dl or mmol/l in Sweden
  • What language is spoken in Sweden? Swedish, although most Swedes have a  good understanding of English and speak it very well
  • Will I need an international driving license when driving in Sweden? No
  • If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
  • What sugar free drinks are available in Sweden? The same drinks that are available in most European countries, such as Diet Coke, Diet Sprite and mineral water
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