OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Sweden 2013

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This report reviews the quality of health care in Sweden. It begins by providing an overview of the range of policies and practices aimed at supporting quality of care in Sweden (Chapter 1). It then focuses on three key areas particularly relevant to elderly populations: strengthening primary care in Sweden (Chapter 2), better assurance for quality in long-term care (Chapter 3), and improving care after hip fracture and stroke (Chapter 4). In examining these areas, this report highlights best practices and provides recommendations to improve the quality of care in Sweden.



Assessment and recommendations

Sweden’s generous health and long-term care systems are regarded across the OECD as models to be emulated. Several of the indicators of health outcomes and quality of care are better than the OECD average and citizens enjoy good access to care, while health expenditure is only slightly above the OECD average of 9.3% in 2011. However, the combination of an ageing population alongside increasing expectations of service users for seamless care within and across the health and long-term care sectors, are testing whether these systems can continue to deliver effective, safe and patient-centered care. Long-standing emphasis on local governance and reforms since the 1990s seeking to drive up performance in Sweden´s health and long-term care systems through patient choice and provider competition have resulted in a “light touch” governance model, these approaches must now be balanced against the need to deliver quality in a consistent and transparent manner and assure whole pathways of care.


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