The Swedish health care system is commonly characterized as a national health-service (or Beveridge) model (Freeman, 2000; Blank and Burau, 2004). It is certainly both financed by taxes and organized as a government responsibility, but it has developed over time as a decentralized rather than a national system (Lindgren, 1995). In Europe, only Finland seems to have a more decentralized system (Häkkinen, 2005). Most political decisions on health and health care in Sweden are made at the level of its presently 20 county councils and 290 local municipalities, which are empowered to put proportional income taxes on their citizens in order to finance their activities. Central government has a more passive role. Apart from supervising the fulfilment of the overall objectives of the health care legislation, which has a strong emphasis on equity,1 its influence is primarily manifested through indirect measures such as general and targeted subsidies. It can also impose ceilings on county council and municipality taxes.
Bolin, K., Höjgård, S. and Lindgren, B. (2008), "Chapter 10 Utilization of Inpatient Care", Klevmarken, A. and Lindgren, B. (Ed.) Simulating an Ageing Population: A Microsimulation Approach Applied to Sweden (Contributions to Economic Analysis, Vol. 285), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 325-342. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0573-8555(07)00010-7
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