Published: 15-09-2016 15:11 | Updated: 15-09-2016 15:11

Peter Berggren is awarded the Håkan Mogren Prize

The Håkan Mogren Foundation has awarded its 2016 medical scholarship in recognition of – and for the advancement of – efforts for human well-being to district doctor Peter Berggren. Through his work, he has created good conditions for continuity and the safety for patients in rural areas.

“Peter Berggren has made pioneering and extremely creative efforts to improve care in rural areas,” says Håkan Mogren. “He has used computers and modern technology to develop new working models, and has helped many patients to receive more accessible, better care.”

Peter Berggren has worked tirelessly for more than 20 years to tackle the challenges posed by long distances and an ageing population in Västerbotten County. Stationed in Storuman, 250 km northwest of Umeå, he is the only doctor providing out-of-hours care for around 12,000 patients at the same time, in an area the size of the provinces of Halland and Skåne put together.

“To some extent, working in rural areas involves a different job so we’ve developed what we call rural medicine,” explains Peter Berggren, who is also head of the Rural Medicine Centre, a primary care R&D unit in Västerbotten which he helped to build up. “Today, this is seen as being attractive, interesting and highly technologically advanced.”

His work has contributed towards brand new care models being devised using advanced remote technology. For example, patients can meet with a dietician or a CBT practitioner via video conferencing, and doctors can listen to a heartbeat or look down into a patient’s throat remotely thanks to various technological solutions. Many doctors and nurses have completed specialist training in this new way of working that Peter Berggren has helped to draw up. Experiences of remote care work have been shared with twin towns and care centres in Australia and Canada. Continuity and safety are the guiding principles in everything that is done.

“Peter Berggren has demonstrated an enormous commitment to the best interests of his patients, and has contributed great patient benefit, not least through patients being able to avoid making long journeys for care,” says Håkan Mogren, emphasising that Peter Berggren is a highly worthy winner of the prize.

The foundation’s medicine prize is awarded to individuals who have earned a reputation for caring for their patients with empathy and passion. They should work actively to disseminate their knowledge through lectures and supervision. In other words, they do not necessarily need to be active in research.

“As an ordinary district doctor, it feels fantastic to be recognised in this way,” adds Peter Berggren. “I’ve devoted many years to developing remote care and this work will, of course, continue.” Peter Berggren will receive the SEK 250,000 scholarship at Karolinska Institutet’s Installation Ceremony on 13 October 2016.

Text: Pia Hellsing