The entire population in Sweden has equal access to healthcare service according to The Health and Medical Service Act. The Swedish healthcare system is funded primarily through general taxation.
Three political and administrative levels share the responsibility: The central government,regions and municipalities. The private healthcare sector is relatively small, but has expanded considerably over the past few years.
- The Central Government – establishes principles, guidelines and sets the political agenda through laws and ordinances or by reaching agreements.
- 21 regions – provide healthcare services. The regions are responsible for the overall planning and for how the health services are organized. They decide on the allocation of resources.
- 290 municipalities – responsible for long term care, care for the elderly and for disabled.
Primary care is organized in about 1 200 healthcare centers. Most practices are team-based. Patients have right to choose their own general practioner. Threre is free establishment for primary care providers who are accredited. Models for paying healthcare providers can vary between regions but most common is a model based on capitation (80-90%), payments for patient visits and a small performance based payment.
Specialized care and hospital care
Patients are free to contact specialists directly but the majority of the patients are referred to the specialized care by the healthcare centers. There are approximately 70 hospitals in the regions and 7 university hospitals. Patients have free choice of hospital (not regulated in law).