Access to health care in the scandinavian countries: Ethical aspects
1999 (English)In: Health Care Analysis, ISSN 1065-3058, Vol. 7, no 4, 321-330 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The health care systems are fairly similar in the Scandinavian countries. The exact details vary, but in all three countries the system is almost exclusively publicly funded through taxation, and most (or all) hospitals are also publicly owned and managed. The countries also have a fairly strong primary care sector (even though it varies between the countries), with family physicians to various degrees acting as gatekeepers to specialist services. In Denmark most of the GP services are free. For the patient in Norway and Sweden there are out-of-pocket co-payments for GP consultations, with upper limits, but consultations for children are free. Hospital treatment is free in Denmark while the other countries use a system with out-of-pocket co-payment. There is a very strong public commitment to access to high quality health care for all. Solidarity and equality form the ideological basis for the Scandinavian welfare state. Means testing, for instance, has been widely rejected in the Scandinavian countries on the grounds that public services should not stigmatise any particular group. Solidarity also means devoting special consideration to the needs of those who have less chance than others of making their voices heard or exercising their rights. Issues of limited access are now, however, challenging the thinking about a health care system based on solidarity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 7, no 4, 321-330 p.
access, ethics, health care system, primary health care, solidarity
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-49480OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-49480DiVA: diva2:270376