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A reflection on Richard B. Saltman 'Structural patterns in Swedish health policy

Lyttkens, Carl Hampus LU (2015) In Health Economics, Policy and Law 10(2). p.217-219
Abstract
Looking back over 30 years of Swedish health care, professor Saltman examines structural changes in the Swedish health care sector. This is a very welcome contribution to the literature, and it makes good sense – institutional change is often a slow process, and it may take considerable time before the effects can be fully appreciated.



Saltman’s paper provides a useful analytical overview of three decades of Swedish health care. He identifies several noteworthy structural patterns: the resilience of the county councils, the slow growth of diversity among service providers and the slow strengthening of patients’ choice.



It is interesting to consider this health-sector development in a broader... (More)
Looking back over 30 years of Swedish health care, professor Saltman examines structural changes in the Swedish health care sector. This is a very welcome contribution to the literature, and it makes good sense – institutional change is often a slow process, and it may take considerable time before the effects can be fully appreciated.



Saltman’s paper provides a useful analytical overview of three decades of Swedish health care. He identifies several noteworthy structural patterns: the resilience of the county councils, the slow growth of diversity among service providers and the slow strengthening of patients’ choice.



It is interesting to consider this health-sector development in a broader perspective. Both diversity of providers and free choice for patients can be seen as deregulations of the Swedish market. The period from the early 1980s till today is in fact characterized by a deep-going trend of deregulation in Sweden. At the macro level, this is captured by the Economic Freedom Index (Gwartney et al., 2013). This index measures economic freedom in five dimensions and the overall score lies between 0 and 10. For example, second-placed Singapore has an overall index score of 8.60.



Back in 1980, Sweden was “a highly regulated economy with several state monopolies and low levels of economic freedom. Less than 20 years later, liberal reforms turned Sweden into one of the world’s most open economies with a remarkable increase in economic freedom” (Bergh and Erlingsson, 2008). The Swedish score increased from 5.68 in 1980 to 7.73 in 2010 (Table 1). This moved Sweden up from 37th to 18th place worldwide (the average score for the 101 countries for which there is data back to 1980 increased by 1.52). Economic freedom increased also in Denmark, Finland and Norway (Norway peaked in 2005–2007), but Sweden increased the most. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
health care, economic freedom, index, welfare state, deregulation
in
Health Economics, Policy and Law
volume
10
issue
2
pages
217 - 219
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • pmid:25080067
  • wos:000350914700006
  • scopus:84924408934
ISSN
1744-134X
DOI
10.1017/S1744133114000322
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a3e6c486-6122-4df9-b239-b215d1f25da5 (old id 4584331)
date added to LUP
2014-08-06 12:45:43
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:10:01
@misc{a3e6c486-6122-4df9-b239-b215d1f25da5,
  abstract     = {Looking back over 30 years of Swedish health care, professor Saltman examines structural changes in the Swedish health care sector. This is a very welcome contribution to the literature, and it makes good sense – institutional change is often a slow process, and it may take considerable time before the effects can be fully appreciated.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Saltman’s paper provides a useful analytical overview of three decades of Swedish health care. He identifies several noteworthy structural patterns: the resilience of the county councils, the slow growth of diversity among service providers and the slow strengthening of patients’ choice.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
It is interesting to consider this health-sector development in a broader perspective. Both diversity of providers and free choice for patients can be seen as deregulations of the Swedish market. The period from the early 1980s till today is in fact characterized by a deep-going trend of deregulation in Sweden. At the macro level, this is captured by the Economic Freedom Index (Gwartney et al., 2013). This index measures economic freedom in five dimensions and the overall score lies between 0 and 10. For example, second-placed Singapore has an overall index score of 8.60.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Back in 1980, Sweden was “a highly regulated economy with several state monopolies and low levels of economic freedom. Less than 20 years later, liberal reforms turned Sweden into one of the world’s most open economies with a remarkable increase in economic freedom” (Bergh and Erlingsson, 2008). The Swedish score increased from 5.68 in 1980 to 7.73 in 2010 (Table 1). This moved Sweden up from 37th to 18th place worldwide (the average score for the 101 countries for which there is data back to 1980 increased by 1.52). Economic freedom increased also in Denmark, Finland and Norway (Norway peaked in 2005–2007), but Sweden increased the most.},
  author       = {Lyttkens, Carl Hampus},
  issn         = {1744-134X},
  keyword      = {health care,economic freedom,index,welfare state,deregulation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {217--219},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Health Economics, Policy and Law},
  title        = {A reflection on Richard B. Saltman 'Structural patterns in Swedish health policy},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1744133114000322},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2015},
}