Sweden has one of the best healthcare system and treatment outcomes in Sweden are rated as high as some of the best countries in the world. So, if you are planning to relocate to Sweden or are temporarily visiting Sweden, you will be taken care of by one of the best universal healthcare systems.
Sweden is divided according to geographical regions into almost 20 country councils and 290 municipalities. The healthcare system in Sweden is decentralized and the responsibility lies with the country council, local council or in some cases municipal government. The role of the central government in this regard is to set rules and regulations and, to establish principles and guidelines for health and medical care.
Country councils are the political bodies whose representatives are elected by the residents on the day of general elections every four years.
According to a report, over the past 20 years, Sweden has reinvested around 9% of its GDP annually on the healthcare system and around 70% of the healthcare facilities are funded by government taxes. Swedish healthcare policy states that every resident, whether Swede or foreigners, will be provided with high-quality health and medical care services. Sweden’s municipalities take special care of the elderly people in the home or special accommodation.
Sweden’s government is more concerned about the safety of its patients and has put forward many ways to report about the quality of services they are getting. Major challenges confronted by the Swedish Healthcare system include access, quality, and efficiency of the services. The national patient survey is done to collect reviews about patient’s perceptions regarding the quality of the healthcare facilities being provided by the government.
Healthcare in Sweden is not free for every age group and is not so expensive. Medical care for the children and adolescents of less than 20 years old is absolutely free and is subsidized for older ones. Besides this, the Swedish government makes a special concession for patients who require regular check-ups or treatment. The government has set an annual limit of out-of-pocket fees at around 1000 SEK and the exceeding amounts will be covered by the government.
The idea of home pharmacy is quite famous among Swedes as they like to have preventive health services. If you suffer from basic fever or flu, then try having herbal tea and you can use anti-bacterial and anti-viral tablets for mild infections. Besides this, drink plenty of water, eat fruit, drink fresh juices, etc.
If you suffer from cold, flu and fever, then you might visit the nearby pharmacy as pharmacies in Sweden sell prescriptions and healthcare items. But it is advisable to get used to the idea of “home pharmacy”.
What does public healthcare cover?
The healthcare in Sweden for general public covers the basic medical needs of the people like:
- Preventive services
- Dental care
- Outpatient services
- Rehabilitation services
- Handicapped support
Cons of the healthcare system
The most challenging part of this journey can be making a call to the healthcare center as most of the instructions are given by the recording system and the medium is Swedish. If you know someone who knows Swedish or you are lucky enough to hear anything like “for instructions in English press this”, then you are saved from the hassle.
You need to have your personnummer to login to healthcare services. The waiting time to get an appointment can even be prolonged to several hours but in case your symptoms are more serious, you may get an appointment within half an hour or even earlier.