New Series: International Health Care Systems

Posted by • January 5th, 2015

A new series of Perspective articles on the health care systems of selected countries around the world begins with Sweden.

The Public–Private Pendulum in Sweden

The Swedish health care system is largely the product of past Social Democratic governments, which emphasized equity and reliance on the public sector. But since 1990, more centrist governments have turned to privatization, competition, and greater consumer choice.

Working with the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation whose international program in health policy supports its mission of promoting high-performing health care systems in the United States and elsewhere, NEJM has commissioned articles on health policies in place or under development in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa, and Australasia. Each article will present one or several aspects of a national health care system, chosen by the authors as distinctive, new, innovative, or potentially instructive for other countries.

To facilitate comparisons among countries, each entry in the series will include two brief case studies, following two typical patients through the country’s system — one a young, pregnant woman, the other a middle-aged man with a myocardial infarction. In addition, each piece will include a table covering a set of key system parameters. That information will also be used to construct an interactive graphic that permits specific international comparisons.  As the article series builds, so will the breadth and complexity of the graphic.

For more information, read the full editorial introducing the series.  And, look for the next article, on Canada’s health care system, on February 5.


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