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Competitiveness / Health & Welbeing


Why are more Swedes seeking healthcare abroad as care sought in the EEA countries soar

Thursday, 26 September 2013
Today it has emerged that more Swedish people are seeking healthcare abroad. Why?
New law simplifying the number of people seeking healthcare in other European countries has led to the dramatic increase in the amount of Swedish people seeking healthcare abroad.

From 2011 to 2012 it has nearly doubled the number of cases where people going abroad, data from the Swedish Social Insurance, Försäkringskassan indicate.The amount of Swedes seeking planned healthcare abroad
The amount of Swedes seeking planned healthcare abroad / graphic, Swedish television

Last year, 4,453 cases of compensation for planned treatment in EEA countries, i.e. all EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein was reported. The cost was at least Skr61 million, according to figures from the Försäkringskassan, reports Swedish television.

Illnesses such as eye diseases / injuries, lead in care sought by the Swedes. Dental and skin diseases / injuries come in second and third place.

On October 1, a new law came into effect that makes it possible for patients to receive advanced notice from the social insurance service if they will be reimbursed for care in an EEA countries.

One of the drivers for this increase has to do with the waiting times in Swedish hospitals. Increased efficiency planning means that healthcare provision has shrunk and waiting time becomes the norm. Thus with this new law, people just go abroad and ask the governed through the social Insurance organisation, Försäkringskassan, to pay.

One fear though has to do with the rise in things such as multi-drug resistant bacteria, which has been observed common in Europe. The Swedish authorities are seeking the assurance of quality of the systems where Swedes go for cure.

Sweden is known to lead in almost all powerful international macro and micro economic indicators such as having some of the best quantity healthcare system. Lots of references are made as to how the Swedish healthcare systems is a model and there were times when some Swedish officials thought that the Swedish healthcare model was ripe for export abroad.

It remains to be debated as to whether a system that lacks the ability to provide in house care could be considered efficient.
by Team

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