Healthcare in Sweden
The healthcare system in Sweden is used as one of the model systems in the world. When Johan Hjertoqvist from the Timbro Policy Group spoke before the Montreal Economic Institute in 2002, he said, "...you refuse to accept the consumer as an equal partner, you still look upon the client, the patient, as an inferior partner in the relation" and "you deny the need for good working condition when it comes to the staff, etc." (http://www.iedm.org/conference5_en.html).Moreover, he stressed the need to move interests and priorities away from the processes and production organization to "the quality of the outcome for the consumer" (http://www.iedm.org/conference5_en.html).Quality seems to be synonymous with healthcare in Sweden.
Two important characteristics of the Swedish healthcare system are that it is "decentralized and it is run on democratic principles" (http://www.si.se/docs/infosweden/engelska/fs76.pdf).All residents of Sweden are covered by the national health insurance system which covers medical care, pharmaceuticals, hospitalization and many other services provided free or at modest cost (Hadenius 1991). The Swedish healthcare policy states that the ultimate goal of public health laws is "that the population should be in good health," therefore, preventive care is included in the health care system (http://oldfraser.lexi.net/publications/books/health_reform/sweden.html).Swedish health care is a public responsibility and is financed primarily through taxes from county councils and municipalities (http://www.vardforbundet.se/index.asp?page=/vardforbundet/index/health_care_in_sweden_.asp).Members of the Swedish Association of Health Professionals make up more than a fourth of all employees in the health care sector and work primarily in hospitals and nursing homes that are usually run by the parents are legally entitled to a total of twelve months paid leave from work, which can be shared between them and used any time before the child's 8th birthday, moreover, they receive a tax-free child allowance, equal for everyone, until the child's 16th birthday (http://www.randburg.com/sw/general/general_10.html).Children's clinics provide vaccinations, health check-ups, and consultations, and certain types of treatments free of charge to all children under school age (http://www.si.se/docs/infosweden/engelska/fs76.pdf).Moreover, all children up to the age of 19 receive free dental care (http://www.si.se/docs/infosweden/engelska/fs76.pdf).
Sweden also has the world's oldest population with 18% aged 65 years or older with life expectancy at 76.5 years for men and 81.5 for women (http://www.si.se/docs/infosweden/engelska/fs76.pdf).Due to current policies, it is both possible and easier for the elderly and disabled to be cared for in their homes (http://www.si.se/docs/infosweden/engelska/fs76.pdf).And for those in long-term hospital care, nursing homes or assisted living quarters, nursing services are available 24 hours a day, furthermore, "great importance is attached to making these places as…
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