This article compares the organization of the Swedish health care system with that in three other countries, the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, focussing on three main areas: (1) the provision and financing (public or private) of health insurance, including the question of the quality of the Insurance protection offered; (2) the organization of the production of health services, and the economic incentives on the system's decision-makers (doctors, hospital managers, politicians, etc.). Possible answers are suggested to the question why one country (the U.K.) is able to provide health care to its population at an average cost considerably below that of the others: Differences in the quality of the insurance protection and health services; in the incentives on the system managers to exercise cost control; and in the incentives on service providers such as physicians, to consider cost-effectiveness when making treatment decisions. An attempt is made to suggest lessons for health care reform in Sweden and elsewhere.

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Keywords Comparative health policy, Health care financing, Health care in Sweden, Health care reform, Health insurance, Incentives in health care, International comparisons of health care
Persistent URL
Journal Health Policy
Blomqvist, Å. (1992). The Swedish health care system - An economist's view. Health Policy, 21(2), 113–127. doi:10.1016/0168-8510(92)90012-Z