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Swedish healthcare system

Swedish healthcare system

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

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)​.

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