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Healthcare and Medical Treatment

Sweden - Healthcare and Medical Treatment

Sweden has an excellent national health system, which has consistently been ranked among the top healthcare systems in the world. There are more doctors per head in Sweden than in most other countries, and the government has traditionally invested vast sums of money in the health service.

Everyone living in Sweden, regardless of nationality, is entitled to medical care on the same basis as Swedish nationals. Relatively few people in Sweden have private health insurance, although this is gradually changing, with more private care facilities being introduced. Providers of national healthcare services are banned from also providing private medical care.

The national healthcare system is heavily subsidised by the government, but adult patient fees are payable for primary care and hospital stays and treatment. These are set at county level and therefore vary throughout the country. Formerly at a nominal level, the fees have been increasing but remain quite affordable level for most people, and there is an annual ceiling above which no more fees are payable. GP fees are around SEK100 to SEK150, while specialist consultation fees are in the region of SEK180 to SEK300. All healthcare and dental treatment is free for children and young people under 20. Maternity care is also free.

Local health centres and GP clinics can be found in virtually every neighbourhood throughout the country. There are many county hospitals providing routine and specialist medical treatment, and nine regional hospitals offering a wide range of specialist fields of care. You obtain treatment you will be required to provide your social security number, issued by the tax office.

Patients are free to visit any health centre, GP or hospital within their county of residence, and do not need a referral from a GP to see a specialist consultant. A referral may be necessary if they wish to obtain treatment in a different area of the country.

Many drugs which can be bought over the counter in other countries are only available on prescription in Sweden, including some common cold remedies.

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