All thirty nurses employed by Læknavaktin will rescind their role, according to RÚV. Læknavaktin has been in charge not just of post-hour medical care in the capital but also of staffing a 24-hour telephone line that is free for the whole country. 

In September, Heilsugæslan health clinics’ receptionists in Reykjavik will take over the phone consultations, which Elva Björk Ragnarsdóttir of Læknavaktin thinks will have a negative influence on the services delivered.

Læknavaktin’s nurses have been accessible to patients all around Iceland through the 1770 phone line.

Anyone who dials this toll-free line is linked to a Læknavaktin nurse, who may evaluate the harshness of their condition and give guidance on how to handle it, whether that’s going straight to a hospital emergency room or receiving a house call from a doctor.

Elva Björk sees the choice to have receptionists at the country’s capital health care facilities managing these phone talks rather than skilled medical professionals as a mistake.

“Over eighty to ninety percent of the calls we receive require healthcare knowledge to handle,” she expressed. “The [1770] toll-free line is now famous—everyone understands they can dial in to prevent irrelevant visits to Læknavaktin and the ER.”

The switch in service will have the most influence on residents of outlying areas, where healthcare services are not widely available after work hours.

“It doesn’t make sense to me that the Heilsugæslan health care clinics aren’t fully staffed during working hours, so I can’t see why you’d want to take on a 24-hour service that requires nurses to manage,’” said Elva Björk.

“Yes, I believe so, if it is to be set up in the same manner that it has been described to me,” Elva Björk responded when asked if public services would worsen due to these changes.

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