Swedes constitutes new union in Udon Thani

Screendump from the Facebook group "Vi Svenskar I Udon Thani".

Screendump from the Facebook group “Vi Svenskar I Udon Thani”.

A Union. Swedes in Phuket have one, in Pattaya and Hua Hin they got one as well. Now time has come for the Swedes living in the Udon Thani Province of the Northern Thailand to unite in their own Svenskförening. “Svenskar in Udon” will be constituted in the coming weeks, Sven Arne Hedell, initiative taker behind tells.

Reasons behind the initiative is two-stringed Sven Arne Hedell explains. There’s the matter of course, that numbers of Swedes settling in Udon Thani increases according to Sven Arne Hedell:

“There are a large number of Swedes living in and around Udon. I got no figures, a guess is at least 200. Just to give an idea, yesterday we had the every second week Swedish meeting, 25 man attended. And the number of Swedes living here on “full-time” is increasing”, he tells.

A newly started and highly active Facebook group called “Vi Svenskar i Udon Thani” counts 55 members at the moment.

The other cause behind is slightly more political. ScandAsia has previously written about how Swedish expats in Phuket and Hua Hin aired their discontent about not getting covered by the Swedish States health insurance when living in Thailand. They eventually posted a letter to the Swedish Minister for Health Care​, Gabriel Wikström, pledging their discontent and presenting some proposals.

“Actually the trigger was that I saw a link on Facebook to the article in ScandAsia”, Sven Arne Hedell reveals. “Hopefully we can influence government officials by writing to give our support for the initiative from Phuket”, he explains, when asked to tell about the ambitions for the union.

Sven Arne Hedell, 65, is covered by the Thai health insurance BUPA himself. He retired at the age of 63 and moved from Växjö to Udon Thani 2,5 years ago. The majority of Swedes living in Udon Thani is seniors over 60 years old and they all have a great interest in receiving Swedish state health care insurance, as private insurances gets more expensive with age and can be hard to pay on a pension.

“Immediately after Song Kran we will gather to constitute “Svenskar i Udon”, Sven Arne Hedell ends.


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