The trade-off between choice and equity: Swedish policymakers’ arguments when introducing patient choice
2013 (English)In: Journal of European Social Policy, ISSN 0958-9287, E-ISSN 1461-7269, Vol. 23, no 2, 192-209 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
How do policymakers deal with the tension between choice and equity in healthcare? An analysis and critical examination of Swedish policymakers' arguments when introducing legislated choice of primary care provider in 2010 shows that even when deciding on a reform with a potentially great impact on distribution of health resources, implications for equity were not systematically addressed. Effects with regards to current patterns of healthcare consumption in the population as well as existing inequalities in health outcomes were not adequately addressed. Neither was the primary are choice reform, which is based on the values of consumerism and individual choice, problematized in relation to current healthcare legislation such as the Health and Medical Services Act. Given that the values of equity and social solidarity have had such a prominent place in Swedish health policy and discourse in past decades, this is a surprising finding. In conclusion, we argue that because inequalities in health constitute one of the main challenges for public health today, the impact of healthcare reforms on equity should receive more attention in policymaking.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 23, no 2, 192-209 p.
choice, equity, Sweden, health policy
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy Public Administration Studies
Research subject Health Care Research
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-162603DOI: 10.1177/0958928712463158ISI: 000318521200006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-162603DiVA: diva2:461052