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Minister touts new health system watchdog

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Minister touts new health system watchdog
12:14 CEST+02:00
The budget has been set for a new public agency tasked with tracking errors in the Swedish healthcare system, with health minister Göran Hägglund saying the agency's 651 million kronor ($98.5 million) budget will help improve Swedes' trust in the health system.

The new agency, the Inspektionen för vård och omsorg ('Health and Welfare Inspectorate) is set to open in the summer of 2013, and the government has now confirmed its annual budget.

Part of the budget for the new authority will be taken from the National Board for Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), as part of that agency's duties will be moved over to the new inspection authority.

The reason for starting the new authority is to have better overview of the mistakes made in Swedish healthcare, said Sweden's minister for health and social affairs, Göran Hägglund.

"We want inspections to improve. This is an important part of our work with patient safety, checking up on the mistakes that have been made in order to build the trust that healthcare needs to have, and to be able to learn from the mistakes that are made," said Hägglund to the TT news agency.

"We'll be taking money from the National Board for Health and Welfare. Since they're losing part of their duties, it only makes sense that their budget is changed," said Hägglund, but wouldn't say how much of the board's budget would be affected.

The new healthcare system watchdog will have inspectors placed throughout Sweden, but its headquarters will be in Stockholm.

The government has set aside 376 million kronor to fund the agency in 2013, when it is expected to be in operation for about half the year. Thereafter, the government expects the agency's annual budget to be 651 million kronor.

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