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Swedish Left looks to halt privatised healthcare

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Swedish Left looks to halt privatised healthcare
17:30 CET+01:00
Sweden's Left Party has set its sights on stopping the privatisation of Sweden's largely publicly-funded healthcare system.

In a campaign unveiled on Wednesday and christened “The World's Best Medical Care,” the Left Party warns that privatising the nation's healthcare would create enormous problems, reduce democracy and transparency, and increase the risk of misplaced priorities.

Party leader Lars Ohly claimed the root of the many problems associated with privatisation lie with healthcare providers who increasingly chase profits.

The party therefore seeks to limit profit as a driving force in the Swedish healthcare system.

“More and more of the Swedish healthcare system is owned by private equity firms whose only motivation is profit,” Ohly said at the Left Party conference on Wednesday.

The Left Party ultimately seeks to abolish Sweden's freedom of choice law (Lagen om valfrihet - LOV), a law in effect since January 2009 that encourages increased competition in public procurement and has paved the way for more private companies to deliver services previously carried out by public agencies.

The Left also wants to tighten laws on tax evasion.

According to the party, the venture capitalists who own private healthcare companies often tamper with the interest costs and interest incomes to avoid paying taxes. Large sums then disappear into tax havens.

The party also warned of an increase in private healthcare insurance, claiming that it threatens to erode the common financing of the healthcare system.

“The Swedish healthcare system so far functions well, but our campaign is meant to prevent a development where more and more healthcare is sold out and we ultimately get a healthcare determined by the size of your wallet,” Ohly said.

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