The Globe and Mail

Sweden exports health care (and it comes assembled)
The Globe and Mail

Forget Volvos and forest products, the Swedish government is gearing up to export something completely new: it’s health care model.

Sweden’s ministries of health and trade are co-operating with private healthcare firms to promote the Swedish way of doing things – and to drum up international business for the country’s pharmaceutical, health care and medical equipment companies.

Under a new umbrella organization, dubbed “SymbioCare,” the government aims to use the Swedish model to push domestic firms to the forefront of the global healthcare market. Government ministers have already presented Sweden’s approach to eldercare and infectious diseases in places like India, China and Denmark, accompanied by Swedish firms providing services in the field.

As the program progresses, the government aims to develop and sell information packages and guidelines on the Swedish model to other countries, said Maria Helling of the division for EU and International Affairs at Sweden’s Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. The country has already had a lot of requests from Asian countries for more information on the Swedish model, she added.

“It’s not always easy to make a package and sell but of course we should try it because it costs us a lot of money and we need to find ways also to keep the health care system we have today with rising costs and an aging population,” Ms. Helling said.