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Author: HamletsMill Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 60034  
Subject: Re: Dallas sees Sicko Date: 7/8/2007 12:59 PM
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If I can cram in some supplemental information about the Swedish health model:

The government pays for medical education. Thus, physicians in Sweden do not have the huge starting costs that almost all American doctors have. While there are a number of private physicians, most are salaried; as a consequence, average incomes tend to be between 2 and 3 times the national average, as opposed to 4 to 8 times in America. (And the income ratio between RN's and MD's in Sweden is much lower than in the U.S.)
Malpractice costs are generally quite a bit lower. Sweden uses basically a form of no-fault compensation – which considerably improves the attitudes of healthcare providers and patients. Far more Swedes apply for compensation than Americans, but the average payment is a fraction of what is generally given in the States. Basic coverage is paid by local authorities (the Swedish healthcare system, while nationally uniform, is largely run on the local level). Additional insurance is bought by physicians to handle those few cases that actually go to trial (awards are capped at around $700,000). The percentage of doctors that are disciplined (warning, temporary suspension, loss of license) if found at fault is higher than in the States.

Pharmacies are State owned and operated. The price of prescriptions is the wholesale price plus operating costs; there is no profit markup. Prices are capped as well for the more expensive drugs – both at the distribution end, and how much the government is willing to pay the manufacturers.

Dentistry, outside of major orthodontic work, is largely private. However average costs are lower. Interestingly, a common practice for families is to pay a retainer fee to their local dentist inside of insurance or pay-for-service.
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