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'Sweden's welfare model needs a make-over'

Cecilia Hermansson, chief economist at Swedbank

Money doesn’t buy happiness: OECD
Stockholm world's No1 for intellectual capital

In many countries it will become harder to afford welfare and more private funding will be needed, Swedish bank Swedbank said in a report published Monday.

It's not only debt-burdened countries that will face difficulties. Also in the Nordics – and not least in Sweden – the gap between demand and supply of welfare services will increase. At the same time the gap between costs and tax income swell.

So the turn has come to analyse the welfare system of education, health, and care.

"The financing gap will remain, which means that Sweden will have to mix public and private financing of welfare", said Cecilia Hermansson, chief economist at Swedbank. "To start the reform process already now would be wise, and there is a need to make priorities on what should and should not be publicly financed".

The Swedish welfare system has so far disguised the financing gap that already exists, the report points out. Health institutions make priorities on who has the right to obtain certain health services, but without being particularly transparent.

Many will not receive the care they need, or they will have to wait in line longer than necessary. In other countries, meanwhile, the fees and insurance premiums increase to counteract the trend of more expensive welfare services.   

Last Updated (Monday, 30 May 2011 14:12)


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