SVT News has taken a closer look at the doctors' registered overtime work for 2019. According to the Medical Association, there is also a hidden overtime mountain with unregistered overtime.

- The hidden overtime work arises because you have too much work over which you have no control, so you have to go into your spare time and clean up the administrative job, says Emma Hagqvist, a researcher at the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University.

"High risk of suicide among doctors"

Shortly, she, together with colleagues, will launch a research project on doctors' work environment and how it affects the mental health of the professional group. According to Emma Hagqvist, there is very little research in this area in Sweden.

- We know that both in Sweden and in other countries there is a high risk of suicide among doctors. In other countries, it is seen that mental illness among physicians is higher than in other groups in society with similar degrees of education.

At the end of last year, the Medical Association conducted a questionnaire survey in which 2,400 doctors answered. More than one in three doctors had in the last two years gone into working hours to cope with their work. Sixty per cent of the respondents had considered changing workplaces due to poor working environment and just over 40 per cent had considered leaving the care completely.

- The problem is that doctors do not have time to do the medical job for which they are trained, says Emma Hagqvist.

Increased costs for health care

For patients, stressed and overworked doctors mean a higher level of uncertainty.

- Above all, the risk of malpractice to patients increases. Doctors who are very stressed, and have symptoms such as depression or anxiety, often make mistakes. It also leads to increased costs for healthcare, says Emma Hagqvist.

The research project, which is funded by the Research Council for Health, Work Life and Welfare, will start in the spring and will last for three years.