All clear for Swedish health system

A raft of studies has told Swedes what they have suspected all along: their healthcare system is pretty good after all.

According to Thursday’s Svenska Dagbladet, “Swedish healthcare stands up well against competition. We have the lowest infant mortality rates, high survival rates from heart disease and low cancer mortality rates.”

“The results are consistently good. And the fact they have been reached with average costs means the efficiency of the Swedish healthcare system is high compared to other countries.”

Presented on Thursday, a new study from Sweden’s Local Authorities and County Council’s gives Sweden’s healthcare system top marks when it comes to access to care, quality and results.

The report was conducted in conjunction with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) after a comparison with the 15 “old” EU member countries as well as Norway and the USA. It also included three international assessments, carried out by research institutes overseas.

The Netherlands and Canada placed Sweden’s healthcare system in second place behind France and Switzerland respectively while Great Britain ranked Sweden number one.

Writing in Thursday’s Dagens Nyheter, Lars Isaksson and Ilmar Reepalu, chairmen of the Swedish County Councils and Local Authorities associations respectively, believe these studies will appease the critics of the country’s healthcare system.

“It is a myth that Swedish healthcare has broken down, according to a new report,” penned the pair. “Those who say we should change to another healthcare system have a heavy burden of proof.”

But they nevertheless concluded that there is some room for improvement. According to Isaksson and Reepalu, non-emergency care could do better and Sweden’s hip replacement patients are in for a long wait at present.

“No country’s healthcare system performs best in every aspect. There are areas where many countries perform better than Sweden. Just because Sweden is ranked so highly it shouldn’t be interpreted that the Swedish healthcare system can’t be improved.”

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet

Picture on previous page. Photographer: Ulf Owende / Copyright: Bildhuset / Source: