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Costs will rather increase Actions and arguments against decommissioning in local health services in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3858-3454
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Health Services Research. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5522-5344
2018 (English)In: Journal of Health Organisation & Management, ISSN 1477-7266, E-ISSN 1758-7247, Vol. 32, no 8, p. 943-961Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to study the unfolding of an urgent and extensive decommissioning program in Sweden, focusing on the public's reactions and their arguments when opposing the decommissioning activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The public's responses were studied through local media. Its content was surveyed and divided into actions and arguments. The arguments were further analyzed and categorized into inductively developed themes.

Findings

Protest activities, such as demonstrations, meetings and petitions, were not coordinated, but mostly carried out for withdrawals of unique services and services in remote areas. The public questioned the decision makers' information, calculations and competence, the adequacy of the consequence analyses and whether the decommissioning activities would lead to any real savings. Patient and public safety, the vulnerable in society, and effects on the local areas were important topics. Thus, it seems the decision makers did not fully succeed in communicating the demonstrable benefits or create clarity of the rationales for decommissioning the particular services. Furthermore, it seems the public has a more inclusive approach to health services and their value compared to decision makers that need to keep the budget.

Originality/value Decommissioning is an emerging field of research, and this study of the unfolding of an urgent and extensive decommissioning program contributes with evidence that may improve decommissioning policy and practice. The study illustrates that it may be possible to implement a decommissioning program despite public protest, but that the longer-term effects on the health system's legitimacy need to be studied.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD , 2018. Vol. 32, no 8, p. 943-961
Keywords [en]
Disinvestment, Resource allocation, Decommissioning, Local media, Public opposition
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-372346DOI: 10.1108/JHOM-08-2018-0219ISI: 000451200100002PubMedID: 30468415OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-372346DiVA, id: diva2:1275791
Available from: 2019-01-07 Created: 2019-01-07 Last updated: 2019-08-15

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Fredriksson, MioMoberg, Linda

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