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2005 OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 2005

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Sweden 2005

OECD's 2005 survey of the Swedish economy examines its key economic challenges including population ageing, maintaining the welfare system, increasing the labour supply, and achieving environmental objectives.  Individual chapters examine strengthening public finances, reducing sickness and disability absences, and raising hours worked. This issue's special chapter discusses improving quality and value in healthcare.

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Improving Quality and Value for Money in Healthcare

This chapter reviews the strengths and weaknesses of the Swedish healthcare system and the challenges that it will face in the future. It discusses ways to improve access to primary care, including different methods for paying GPs, whether access is less equitable than in other countries and the role of patient fees. The maximum waiting time guarantee for elective surgery is reviewed, along with ways of reducing regional variations in quality. The extent of decentralisation is questioned, as that may be affecting the quality of care and value for money in some areas, including elderly and psychiatric care. Mechanisms for improving the hospital sector are also examined including feefor-service (DRG) payment mechanisms and whether for-profit hospitals would help. Finally, it considers ways to make financing more stable and sustainable.

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