Ingegerd Troedsson was a politician of the Moderate party, the first Swedish Minister for Health and the first female speaker of the Riksdag (Swedish parliament).
Ingegerd Troedsson was born in 1929. She grew up in the Stockholm area. Her father was an officer and the family, comprising his wife and three children, accompanied him wherever he was stationed. Ingegerd Troedsson gained her school-leaving certificate at Saltsjöbaden in 1947. She then attended a housekeeping school. She gained a Master’s degree in political science at Stockholm högskola (later Stockholm University).
She married Tryggve Troedsson in 1949, while she was still a student. He later became a professor of forestry. The couple had six children together, five of whom survived into adulthood. In 1957 the family moved to Hakesta farmstead near Grillby, where Ingegerd Troedsson spent the next 15 years as a housewife looking after her children. During that time she also renovated the many old buildings of the farmstead, wrote articles for both the local and national press, and was active within local politics – first in Grillby and after 1971 in Enköping. Ingegerd Troedsson believed that working outside the home was pointless from a financial perspective due to the tax laws and rates. Family policies became one of her great interests.
In 1954 Ingegerd Troedsson set up Högerns Kvinnoförening (a right-wing women’s association) in Norra Trögd. She remained its chair until 1991. She also became a member of Högerns kvinnoförband, a women’s alliance connected to the Moderate Party. When Högerns kvinnoförbund established its own action committee in 1963 comprising five members, she primarily pushed social issues regarding family and care of the elderly, such as questions around electoral freedom, nursing homes, and qualified nurses’ training. Environmental issues, such as clean air, water and farmland, as well as the effects of chemical treatments on food, were also highlighted. Proposals to safeguard these issues included laws against air pollution and the control of groundwater and pesticides. The work of the action committee was carried out by associations of the women’s alliance nationwide – at the time the alliance had approximately 70,000 members in 1,500 associations –and this later provided material for motions at both local and national level.
Ingegerd Troedsson became famous throughout Sweden as a public speaker on social welfare issues. She released a range of publications both on her own and in collaboration with others: Hög tid för en ny familjepolitik, 1962, Aktiv Vårdpolitik and Vårdkris, 1966, Att få ta ansvar, 1967, and Politik för 70-talet, 1969. Ingegerd Troedsson was elected into parliament in 1974 as a member of Moderata samlingspartiet (Moderate Party) in Uppsala county. She served as a member of parliament until 1994. Her parliamentary contributions include being chair of parliamentary financial accounts 1979-1982, a member of the board of Riksskatteverket (national tax authority), a member of the national bank council 1982-1985, a member of Socialutredningen (welfare review) 1968-1976, on the family finances committee 1979-1983 and on the pension commission in 1985.
Having served two years in parliament Ingegerd Troedsson was appointed Minister for Health in Torbjörn Fälldin’s government in 1976. Previously there had not been a dedicated representative for health care in government as it had formed part of the Minister for Welfare’s remit. Ingegerd Troedsson’s first measure was to change the current planning model. She sought to strengthen the role of the patient and also to strengthen the position of, for instance, district nurses. She also highlighted issues of self-care and preventative healthcare.
A contentious issue was information on medicines and the monopoly on medicine held by the state-owned Apotek AB. Ingegerd Troedsson’s measures meant that the National Board of Health and Welfare medicine department became the central authority and that work was initiated to set up the government agency Läkemedelsverket (Medical Products Agency).
Ingegerd Troedsson understood the importance of international collaboration. She was the first Swedish minister to participate in the efforts led by WHO. Swecare Foundation was established in order to share Swedish healthcare expertise and international medical collaboration followed soon, involving authorities, principals, industry and others.
Ingegerd Troedsson’s time as Minister for Health was brief but intense. Fälldin’s government resigned after two years in power. During her time as minister the planning model and politics of medicine changed. Innovative approaches to the patients’ role, self-care, and the improved position of district nurses were all begun and developed over the coming years.
From 1979 to 1991 Ingegerd Troedsson served as the first deputy speaker of parliament. In 1991 she was appointed as the first female speaker in Sweden. As chair of the parliamentary commission and in parliament’s management board she pushed forward new regulations with regard to parliamentary budget procedures and faster communication. Previously the annual state budget had run from 1 July until 30 June but it was now reset to the calendar year as in other EU states. The parliamentary commission further proposed how the parliament should function once it eventually became a member of the EU.
Great changes occurred in foreign affairs during the 1990s. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, new connections were established – particularly with the Baltic states – and Ingegerd Troedsson played a very active role in these developments. The parliament received Mikhail Gorbachev, Hannan Ashrawi, Yasser Arafat and Jacques Delors, amongst others, as guests. Ingegerd Troedsson made personal visits to the United Nations, to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as leading a delegation to Australia.
Ingegerd Troedsson was very active in the Swedish business world. Her board roles included Lantmäteriverket, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), Stiftelsen Svenska Dagbladet, Industry AB Euroc, AB Skandinaviska Elverk, and the insurance companies Vegete and Wasa liv. She was the chair of Stiftelsen Konung Gustaf V’s jubilee fund for cancer research as well as of Stiftelsen Cancercentrum Karolinska, and was actively involved in their establishment.
After resigning from her position as speaker in 1994 Ingegerd Troedsson returned to her earlier enthusiasm for local history and history in general. In 1995 she published a chronicle on Hakesta town. It was followed by about ten publications within the field of local and family history. She was the editor of Historia om Enköpingsbygden, which was released in three editions in 2006, 2007 and in 2011. She published a book called Slaget i Gestilren in 2010. Throughout her career she had also published political writings: Variation och valfrihet – för barnens bästa, 1984, Den kommenderade familjen, 1999, Frigör familjen, 2001. Ingegerd Troedsson was also the first chair of Sällskapet för Moderata Kvinnors Historia. In 2004 she wrote “Ebon Andersson – flickan från Masthugget some blev akademiker, riksdagsman och högerkvinnoledare” which was included in the book Moderata pionjärer: kvinnor i politiskt arbete 1900-2000, to which she also contributed an article, which summarised her own efforts within family policies.
Ingegerd Troedsson also set up several cultural and support groups such as Framtidens kultur, Riksarkivets vänförening Pro Memoria, and she actively worked for the retention of the old parish names in the census records for the benefit of future research.
Ingegerd Troedsson died in 2012. She is buried at Hacksta cemetery.