Swedes go abroad for medical care

Swedes are increasingly looking abroad for medical treatment, according to new statistics.

The number of Swedish patients treated in other EU countries at the expense of the Swedish state doubled between 2005 and 2006, according to new statistics from the Swedish Social Insurance Administration (Försäkringskassan).

Some 2,000 people had planned treatment abroad in 2006, compared to only 900 the year before, according to Sveriges Radio. When the scheme to fund non-emergency treatment abroad was introduced in 2004, only 150 people were granted funding.

Dental work was the most popular kind of treatment to undergo abroad, followed by treatment for muscle and joint problems. Finland was the most popular country for treatment. Germany was popular for specialist care. Spain, Portugal and the Baltic states were the most common destinations for dentistry.

Compensation for planned treatment abroad in 2005 and 2006 totalled 25 million kronor out of a total healthcare budget of 340 billion kronor.