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First to provide agency doctors

1994

Shortages of doctors and other staff have made the temporary-work agency industry an important skills provider to ensure that care functions well. The first GP who “rented out” medical services probably had no idea that this was a historic moment for the labour market.

“If we weren’t here to help, the situation would be a lot worse. We ensure that patients who wouldn’t otherwise receive care now get to meet a doctor or a nurse,” says Eva Domanders, CEO of Rent-A- Doctor and Rent-A-Nurse in Scandinavia AB, which is part of the Ambea Group.

The company includes Rent aDoctor, Rent a Nurse, Care,  Rent a Socionom (social worker) and Rent a Teacher.

In 1993 it became legal to run for-profit employment and staffing agencies. The following year, GP Sven-Erik Thelander became a pioneer by being the first GP in Sweden to hire out his own and his colleagues’ skills as doctors. Demand grew, as did the business – which soon became nationwide and was sold in 2000. Ulla Tansen started as consulting manager of the company in 1999 and worked there for several eventful years.

“Sven-Erik Thelander knew what doctors wanted,” she says. “For example they were paid on time and received clear information about their assignment. We also took the time to match doctors with assignments and ensure quality control through measures such as checking IDs and taking references. This contributed to our good reputation in the industry.”

Demand for hiring nurses led to Rent a Nurse being set up in 2001. In 2003 the company started offering travelling nurses offering onsite visits for external clients. This became the basis of Care Team.

In 2016 the fourth division, Rent aSocionom, was added. Difficulties in recruiting experienced social workers, combined with a surge in demand during peaks of high staff turnover, increased workloads or widespread sickness absence, led to the expansion into Rent aSocionom.

“At the same time,” says division manager Ann-Kristin Rydén, “it has become increasingly common for social workers to want alternative employment solutions and more flexible jobs.”

Eva Domanders has followed the development of the agency industry since the mid-1990s and has noticed a marked change in attitude.

“Freelance consultants were a bit unusual to begin with but then they became a natural feature in care. Even though there is some political opposition, our view is the same as it was then – we are making a difference and give very good value for money. We are part of the solution.”

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