Health authorities must accept cash

Health authorities must accept that patients want to pay patient fees in cash, according to a sentence in the Supreme Administrative Court.

Kronoberg County Health Authority has been reprimanded by the court, for limiting the possibilities to pay patient fees in cash. Three years ago, the health authority decided that patients could only pay the fee by cash in two places in the county: at the hospitals in Växjö and in Ljungby. At all the other health clinics, patients could only pay by card or get a bill to pay at the bank.

Several health clinics around the country have introduced similar routines, as a way to limit the need for its employees to handle cash.

But the Supreme Administrative Court has now found that this is not in accordance with the law.

"According to the national bank law, you should be able to pay with banknotes and coins, that is with cash," said Erik Nymansson, Justice at the Supreme Court told Swedish Radio News.

Annika Wallenskog, chief economist at the Association of Local Authorities and Regions says she is sure that health authorities and clinics will adjust their routines in accordance with this sentence, but she also criticises the court for not being completely clear in its sentence.

"It says nothing about how many places must handle cash," she told Swedish Radio News.

Each of the regional health authorities decide the size of the patient fee. In Stockholm, for example, you pay SEK 200 for a visit to the doctor.