Malmö Hospital.

Sweden - Healthcare

The Swedish health care system has demonstrated a reliable form of public health care. It has been shown that about 97% of all medical costs are paid for by the government.

This shows that tax payer’s money is being used to support the citizens in times of need. The fact that tax on salary is quite high is made up for all the state benefits given to citizens. Since the 1980s about 9% of the gross domestic product has been spent on health and medical care.

The health care system in Sweden is managed on three levels:

•National – The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs sets the principles and recommendations for care while implementing the political agenda for medical and health care. The ministry and government agencies will also supervise activities, evaluate the conditions of ground work health care and allocate grants

•Regional – There are 21 county councils in Sweden. Each one has management over a specified area in the country. This political body manages prices and the quality of service offered by private providers. All citizens in a specified council area have the right to vote for representatives every four years (same time as the general elections). There is an executive board or hospital board for a county council, this board manages authority over hospital structure and management, and supports quality health care being supplied to patients.
•Local – This is where the municipalities are held accountable and need to ensure that the local environment is safe, such as the supply of clean water, welfare services, long term care for psychiatric patients, care for the elderly and disabled after being discharged from hospital.

In Sweden all dental treatment is free up to the age of 19 years. For anyone older, dental treatment is partly subsidised by the government although not included in the general health care system.
Although prescription medicines need to be paid for by the patient, there is a limit as to how much the patient is liable for. When the cost of medicines reaches a certain threshold, the government will finance the rest for the remainder of that year. Every pharmacy in the country is network linked. This enables a patient to go to any pharmacy in the country with proof of identification and the right to access his or her prescribed medicines. Each patient’s medical history and previous medication records will be on the network. This saves much time.

There is also a limit on health care fees. After the patient has paid so much per a particular year, thereafter all medical charges will be free for a whole period of a year;and rather financed by the government.

An entrance fee to hospital enables any patient to have unlimited access to the specialists, tests, diagnostic tools and necessary operations or procedures. All necessary procedures would be authorised or recommended by the consulting doctor.

In the case of a Swede being diagnosed as ill and a sick certificate is signed, the employer is liable to pay a percentage of the patient’s salary for up to 14 days. Thereafter the government will pay that same amount until the patient is deemed fit again for work.

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