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Access to Health Care in the Scandinavian Countries: Ethical Aspects

Access to Health Care in the Scandinavian Countries: Ethical Aspects The health care systems are fairly similar in theScandinavian countries. The exact details vary, but inall three countries the system is almost exclusivelypublicly funded through taxation, and most (or all)hospitals are also publicly owned and managed. Thecountries also have a fairly strong primary caresector (even though it varies between the countries),with family physicians to various degrees acting asgatekeepers to specialist services. In Denmark most ofthe GP services are free. For the patient in Norwayand Sweden there are out-of-pocket co-payments for GPconsultations, with upper limits, but consultations forchildren are free. Hospital treatment is free inDenmark while the other countries use a system without-of-pocket co-payment. There is a very strongpublic commitment to access to high quality healthcare for all. Solidarity and equality form theideological basis for the Scandinavian welfare state.Means testing, for instance, has been widely rejectedin the Scandinavian countries on the grounds thatpublic services should not stigmatise any particulargroup. Solidarity also means devoting specialconsideration to the needs of those who have lesschance than others of making their voices heard orexercising their rights. Issues of limited access arenow, however, challenging the thinking about a healthcare system based on solidarity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Care Analysis Springer Journals

Access to Health Care in the Scandinavian Countries: Ethical Aspects

Health Care Analysis , Volume 7 (4) – Sep 29, 2004

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References (6)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Public Health; Philosophy of Medicine; Ethics; Health Informatics
ISSN
1065-3058
eISSN
1573-3394
DOI
10.1023/A:1009460010196
pmid
10787795
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The health care systems are fairly similar in theScandinavian countries. The exact details vary, but inall three countries the system is almost exclusivelypublicly funded through taxation, and most (or all)hospitals are also publicly owned and managed. Thecountries also have a fairly strong primary caresector (even though it varies between the countries),with family physicians to various degrees acting asgatekeepers to specialist services. In Denmark most ofthe GP services are free. For the patient in Norwayand Sweden there are out-of-pocket co-payments for GPconsultations, with upper limits, but consultations forchildren are free. Hospital treatment is free inDenmark while the other countries use a system without-of-pocket co-payment. There is a very strongpublic commitment to access to high quality healthcare for all. Solidarity and equality form theideological basis for the Scandinavian welfare state.Means testing, for instance, has been widely rejectedin the Scandinavian countries on the grounds thatpublic services should not stigmatise any particulargroup. Solidarity also means devoting specialconsideration to the needs of those who have lesschance than others of making their voices heard orexercising their rights. Issues of limited access arenow, however, challenging the thinking about a healthcare system based on solidarity.

Journal

Health Care AnalysisSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 29, 2004

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