Tankesmedjan hjälper en journalist med frågor om statistik

I början av december förra året gjorde tidningen Arbetet en intervju med socialförsäkringsminister Annika Strandhäll där ministern var tydlig med att nu måste arbetsgivarna ta sitt ansvar för de höga sjuktalen, annars skulle sanktioner komma att bli aktuellt. Sjuktalen måste minskas omgående! I slutet av artikeln är reportern lite orolig över att regeringens nya styrning av Försäkringskassan kommer att leda till att fler sjuka kommer att få avslag på ansökan om sjukpenning. Att läkare och Försäkringskassan kommer att pressas till tuffare bedömning. Men nej. Så kommer det inte blir, lugnar Annika reportern. Helt andra åtgärder ska minska sjuktalen.

Idag publicerade Arbetet ett uppföljningsreportage till artikeln från i fjol. Eftersom vi på smedjan tycker att det här med sjuktal och psykisk ohälsa är väldigt viktigt var vi lite spända på vad ministern skulle säga. Hur har det gått? Kommer regeringen behöva vidta de där sanktionerna mot arbetsgivarna eller rullar arbetet med den gemensamma avsiktsförklaringen på fint? Och har det gett resultat i lägre sjuktal?

Bilden på Annika anger tonen direkt. Hon verkar avspänd och till freds. Så skönt. Ökningen i sjukfrånvaro har börjat att mattas av. En icke namngiven kommun har tydligen minskat sina sjuktal. Så mycket konkret har förvisso inte gjorts än men ministern tycker att det verkar finnas en ökad medvetenhet om problemet. SKL meddelar att man arbetar med problemet. Några eventuella effekter av Försäkringskassans strängare tolkning nämns inte.

Det var väl bra. Eller?

Fast om vi tänker oss att reportern haft en lite mer granskande approach i intervjun. Om han ställt lite andra frågor. Hur hade det kunnat se ut då?

Vi testar!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Reporter: Det här låter ju bra Annika. Men jag har några följdfrågor.

Annika: Va kul. Jag är redo.

R: Jo. Vi har ju de senaste månaderna kunnat läsa att antalet som får avslag på ansökan om sjukpenning ökat och att läkare protesterar mot att deras sjukintyg plötsligt inte blir godkända. Kan inte det ha påverkat sjuktalen?

A: Det stämmer. Självklart är det så att om fler får avslag på sina ansökningar kommer det att påverka statistiken. Vi vet att fler sjukintyg skickas tillbaka till läkare och det råder ingen tvekan om att vårt politiska mål på en minskning av antalet sjukdagar/person ska ner till 9 har gjort att Försäkringskassan tidigare testar sjuka mot hela arbetsmarknaden.

R: Men. Det innebär ju att det här är friserade siffror? Att kanske inte ökningen alls stannat av? Att vi faktiskt inte vet?

A: Visst. Det stämmer. Men. Ska man minska antalet sjukdagar måste man såklart avslå fler ansökningar. Det är såhär målstyrning fungerar.

R: Aha. Jag förstår. Men det här arbetet ute i kommuner och landsting då? Där flest är sjuka. Hur ser det ut? Visst kan vi nu se att resurser sätts in och att chefer har färre medarbetare under sig samt att chefer har bättre möjligheter att minska arbetsbelastningen så att fler får vara friska på jobbet?

A: Nej. Det är inte troligt. Vi har tittat lite på kommuner och landstings ekonomiska rapporter och det ser fortsatt mycket tufft ut. Faktum är att det sedan första intervjun gjordes har blivit tydligare och tydligare att många kommuner och landsting kommer öka arbetsbelastningen ytterligare för sina medarbetare.

R: Vad är det du säger. Men det var ju inte alls så du beskrev det i början. Berätta mer.

A: Låt mig ta några exempel på vad som sker ute i vård, skola och omsorg. Håll i dig, för det här är ganska deprimerande nedslag i verkligheten. Vad händer på budgetfronten?

R: Ok det räcker nog Annika, jag tror att jag först…

A: Men jag har ju bara börjat? Skulle kunna hålla på så här hela dagen. Du vill inte ha hela listan?

R: Det är inte nödvändigt. Det du säger är alltså att resurserna för vård, skola och omsorg ute i kommuner och landsting kommer att minska med troligt resultat att de anställda arbetsbelastning kommer att öka?

A: Ja just det.

R: Men då finns det ju risk att den här vändningen som du pratar om ovan inte kommer att ske ?

A. Ja just det.

R: Och som vi kom fram till alldeles nyss kan den avmattande ökningen av… Vänta. Avmattande ökning. Sjuktalen ökar alltså fortfarande?

A: Ja just det.

R: Oj. Men de hade ökat ännu mer om inte Försäkringskassan avslagit så många ansökningar om sjukpenning från folk som läkare anser är för sjuka för att jobba?

A: Du har ju fattat! Då var vi klara här? Vill du ha en bulle?

R: Ja tack.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Men det kom aldrig några följdfrågor i det riktiga reportaget.

Att vara journalist är svårt och att vara minister är ännu svårare. Vi förstår att det kan bli på det här sättet. Att journalister inte alltid har tid att ställa följdfrågor och att ministrar måste försöka sprida en bild av att regeringens politik har varit framgångsrik. Nästan lite oavsett vilket. Den här frågan är dock för viktig för att inte problematiseras. Det handlar faktiskt om liv och död för några människor och om skillnaden mellan att orka jobba och att inte orka jobba för många fler.

Det vi behöver är en ny styrning för välfärden. En styrning som inte tar som utgångspunkt att glappet mellan krav och resurser hela tiden kan ökas. Vi ser inte inte de positiva tendenser som Annika Strandhäll säger att hon ser. Tvärt om. Det behövs ett omtag på hela välfärdens styrning. Inte bara prat mellan parterna.

 

 

 

 

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