Despite domestic criticism over long queues and the lack of available beds, the Swedish healthcare system compares well on an international scale and is considerably cheaper than in many other major countries.
Some 9 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on healthcare in Sweden, compared with over 15 percent in the USA for example. Sweden also enjoys one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.
The government is therefore looking into the possibility of exporting the concept which, according to Minister for Health and Social Affairs Göran Hägglund, could boost revenues and provide jobs.
To this end has teamed up with the export council and invested some 4 million kronor ($600,000) in an umbrella organisation called “Symbio Care” which can be promoted abroad by Swedish politicians and Swedish Trade Council (Exportrådet).
The package would include not only knowledge and practical advice, but would also help to boost sales of companies selling medical products to new markets.
“We have promoted Swedish healthcare abroad previously, but now we have created a clear concept,” Hägglund told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
Other ministers are also optimistic about the concept’s potential success
“I have travelled to almost 50 countries over the past few years. Almost everywhere there is a demand for Swedish healthcare, care for the elderly and the handicapped,” minister for trade Ewa Björling told DN.