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Care and Heathcare

Published tisdag 11 juli 2006 kl 16.48

Private or Public Care?

In Sweden healthcare, daycare, and care of the elderly is largely part of the public sector (through county and municipal authorities), and financed by taxes. The costs are significant, healthcare alone costs more than 5.5 billion dollars a year. The Social Democrats and Left Party want to maintain the current system, they say that the most important human needs cannot be served by profit-making interests.

The opposition alliance parties, and even the Greens who otherwise support the Social Democrat government, want to see more private alternatives. They say care and healthcare can be improved and people have a right to choose.

The Social Democrats, the Left, and the Greens want to spend an additional 140 million dollars a year on care of the elderly. This would be used for more places in homes for the elderly, increased rent subsidies for pensioners, and better care for the most severely ill.

The Social Democrats want to introduce all-night daycare, the Greens want to increase the minimum pension, and the Left want specialized personal home help for people with mental disabilities.

The center-right alliance wants to spend 42 million dollars on a so-called “Free Choice” reform in municipalities. This is to stimulate private alternatives in care for the elderly. The alliance also wants to spend another 140 million dollars beyond the government’s proposed 140 million annually for care for the elderly.

The Conservative Moderates have the most restrictive proposals, including a 3 dollar fee every time one visits a pharmacy and raising the high cost ceiling for medicines from the current 244 dollars to 278 dollars. The Christian Democrats want to raise the minimum pension and lower taxes for all pensioners.

Both blocks have promised reforms to make dental care less expensive.

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