Int J Health Serv. 2008;38(4):697-715.
(¿Les suena de algo este autor?¿les suena de algo esta historia?)
The conservative government that came to power in Sweden in 2006 has initiated major market-oriented reforms in the health sector. Its first health care policy bill changed the health legislation to make it possible to sell/transfer public hospitals to commercial providers while maintaining public funding. Far-reaching market-oriented primary health care reforms are also initiated, for example in Stockholm County. They are typically presented as “free choice models” in which “the money follows the patient.” The actual and likely effects of these reforms in terms of access and quality of care are discussed in this article. One main finding is that existing social inequities in geographic access to care not only are reinforced but also become very difficult to change by democratic political decisions. Furthermore, dynamic market forces will gradually reduce the quality of care in low-income areas while both access and quality of care will be even better in high-income areas. Public funds are thus transferred from people living in low-income areas to people living in high-income areas, even though the need for good health services is much greater in the low-income areas. Certain policy options for reversing the inverse law of care are also presented.