Canadian-Swedish Health Care Newsletter

Innovations in the Swedish Health Care system could inform Canadian reform efforts


The purpose of this project was to inform Canadian policy by facilitating dialogue and mutual learning between the Canadian and Swedish medical care systems. Johan Hjertqvist, a Swedish health policy analyst, published a series of policy newsletters directed at Canadian policy makers. These newsletters focused on the changes undertaken by the Swedish medical system that could serve as an example for potential Canadian reforms.

Grant Outputs

Sale of Public Hosp8000itals Under Fire: Sweden’s Political Battleground (February 2001) –

This report examines the impact of the decision to allow some market reforms in state-run medical care. The process was challenging, but in Stockholm the partial privatization of medical care appears to be quite successful. Wait lists in the capital region are significantly shorter than in rural regions that did not undergo privatization. Hjertqvist suggested that the benefits of privatizing parts of the Swedish medical system could be found in improved worker conditions for medical sector employees and greater productivity and accountability in private clinics.

The Internet Empowers Swedish Healthcare Consumers: Waiting List Info Shapes Patient Choices (May 2001) –

This report highlights Sweden’s developing on-line directory which allows patients to compare waiting times for a variety of surgeries at different hospitals. For those who are willing to travel, this on-line system allows a degree of customer choice, redirecting patients to areas with less pressure on local medical systems. The report suggests that younger people were more likely to travel to distant hospitals for treatment, and that movement of patients between regions for surgery was limited but increasing.

Competition in Emergency Healthcare: The great Stockholm challenge (October 2001) –

This report offers some predictions about the impending plan to privatize certain emergency room procedures in Sweden. The plan included a tender system that would allow patients to receive emergency health care or direct in-hospital care. These kinds of services represented approximately forty percent of the total volume of health services in Sweden, with a budget of just over 10 billion Swedish crowns per year (approximately $1.5 billion CAD). The report concludes that private medical services provided by specialists on a fee for service compensation model were 10-20 percent more efficient than publicly employed specialists, and therefore stood to improve overall service delivery.

Grant Details

Go Back to Grants Listing