A Brief Note On Sweden 's Health Care System

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Everyone in Sweden has equal access to health care services under a largely decentralized, taxpayer-funded system (Swedish Institute 2014). The health care system in Sweden is financed primarily through taxes levied by county councils and municipalities. Sweden 's health care system is organized and managed on three levels: national, regional and local. At the national level, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs establishes principles and guidelines for care and sets the political agenda for health and medical care. At the regional level, responsibility for financing and providing health care is decentralized to the county councils. A county council is a political body whose representatives are elected by the public every four years on the same day as the national general election. At the local level, municipalities are responsible for maintaining the immediate environment of citizens such as water supply and social welfare services (Swedish Institute 2014). Costs for health and medical care amount to approximately nine percent of Sweden’s gross domestic product (GDP), a figure that has remained fairly stable since the early 1980s. Seventy-one percent of health care is funded through local taxation, and county councils have the right to collect income tax. The state finances the bulk of health care costs, with the patient paying a small nominal fee for examination. The state pays for approximately ninety seven percent of medical costs (InterNations 2014). In 1733, the
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