Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

International Healthcare Models: Sweden, Norway and Finland

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Jun• 22•10

Here is my earlier review on Norway.  The information below on Sweden and Finland has not yet been presented before in my blog.

SWEDEN

Hospitals

  • There are 4 types of medical facilities: local health centers, county level hospitals, district level hospitals, and regional teaching hospitals.
  • Local health centers are staffed by GPs, nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists.
  • Citizens can pick their own local health center and their own physician.

HIT

  • 98% of Swedish GPs have computerized practices
  • 90% use electronic medical records.
  • Patients can provide physicians with necessary information before the visit using the patient’s Smart card.

Malpractice

  • The Scandinavian model is built on the premise of no-fault liability.
  • About 3 patients file a malpractice claim for every 1 in the U.S.
  • Awards payments come from a compensation fund supported by tax revenues.

FINLAND

Hospitals

  • Finland is divided into 20 hospital districts, each with 1 central hospital with more sophisticated technology and several satellite hospitals.
  • Of the central hospitals, 4 are university hospitals with the most specialized care.
  • Municipal health centers serve the majority of each community’s health needs. 

Funding

  • Funding is very decentralized.  The central government only paid for 18% of care in 2000.  The municipalities pay for the majority of care.

Malpractice

  • Similar to the Swedish system

NORWAY

Insurance

  • Has a centralized system, like Canada.
  • The National Insurance scheme covers all citizens.
  • No private insurance exists

Funding

  • The National Insurance Scheme is funded by general tax revenues. 

Physicians

  • Most physicians work are paid via capitation.  The capitation rate is based on the number of patients who have chosen a doctor to be their primary physician. 
  • Some specialists do work on a fee-for-service basis.

Malpractice

  • Similar to the Swedish system

Source: Roth, WF (2010) Comprehensive Healthcare for the U.S.: An Idealized Model. Productivity Press, 174 pages.

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2 Comments

  1. Norwegian says:

    There does exist private insurance in Norway. Some companies buy a private insurance for their employees, or individuals buy for themselves, that will be in addition to the National Insurance plan.
    If there’s a long waiting list on a treatment, it can be beneficial to have an extra insurance to buy treatment at a private hospital quicklier.

  2. Ken Anderson nhs

    International Healthcare Models: Sweden, Norway and Finland « Healthcare Economist

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