1/21/2014

Swedes getting tired of long queues to get health care, moving to private health insurance

Seven day waits to visit primary care doctor? As someone who has had relatives through marriage in Sweden, I can attest first hand that there have been extremely long delays of months once one gets past primary care.  From The Local in Sweden:
More than half a million Swedes now have private health insurance, showed a new review from industry organization Swedish Insurance (Svensk Försäkring). In eight out of ten cases, the person's employer had offered them the private insurance deal. 
"It's quicker to get a colleague back to work if you have an operation in two weeks' time rather than having to wait for a year," privately insured Anna Norlander told Sveriges Radio on Friday. "It's terrible that I, as a young person, don't feel I can trust the health care system to take care of me."  
The insurance plan guarantees that she can see a specialist within four working days, and get a time for surgery, if needed, within 15. 
In December, the queues in the Swedish health care system pushed the country down a European ranking of healthcare. 
"Why can Albania operate its healthcare services with practically zero waiting times, and Sweden cannot?" the report authors from the Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP) organization in Brussels asked, albeit acknowledging modest improvements. "The Swedish queue-shortening project, on which the state has spent approximately €5 billion, has achieved some shortening of waiting times." . . .  
"The target for maximum wait in Sweden to see your primary care doctor (no more than seven days) is underachieved only by Portugal, where the corresponding figure is 15 days," the report stated. . . .

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