Consumer-friendly care – How new ideas on funding can provide new healthcare services
Welfare states only undergo reform if the changes are truly necessary, ie economically. It follows therefore that the economic crisis can create a dire need for reform. This was witnessed during the 90´s and the pension reform in Sweden at that time, and it could be said that this followed on from the reforms of the 80's in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Perhaps the same thing will come to pass with the reform of social services funding?
If there is to be a healthy and productive discussion about values, strategies and solutions, we need perspectives other than just the ‘musts’ and an analysis of the long-term advantages of different possible solutions, as this strengthens the foundation for decisions – a ‘should perspective.”
We already know a good deal about the “must perspective,” i.e. the purely economic reasons regarding the funding of healthcare in the future, from sources including Långtidsutredningen 2008 (the 2008 Long-term Survey), Per Borg’s ESO-rapport 2009 (the 2009 ESO Report) and the report from the Borg-kommissionen (2010), a mutual cooperation between Arena Idé and Timbro. Their conclusions are important and merit constant repetition, not least because the political parties have chosen to ignore them.
In this report the ‘should perspective’ has a chance to be heard. More private funding of healthcare yields opportunities to develop new and improved services that may be available to everyone, in the form of more effective care and therefore better health in the long term.
Using original arguments and examples from other countries, the author points to the beneficial extra contributions in the form of new funds for the welfare services of the future – and to the merits of the fact that these are indeed private funds, i.e. not channeled via taxes and public bureaucracies.
The report is written by Carl Elfgren, who has a background in political work both in the Swedish Government Offices and as a consultant specializing in topics including the development of services.