almost paradise a look at life in contemporary sweden from a citizen s perspective
Download
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
ALMOST PARADISE? A look at life in contemporary Sweden from a citizen’s perspective

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 31

ALMOST PARADISE? A look at life in contemporary Sweden from a citizen’s perspective - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 86 Views
  • Uploaded on

ALMOST PARADISE? A look at life in contemporary Sweden from a citizen’s perspective . Memphis in May International Teacher’s Conference Focus on Sweden Memphis, TN February 23, 2013 Susan L. Holmberg, Ph.D. Visiting Scholar, Department of Scandinavian Studies University of Washington

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'ALMOST PARADISE? A look at life in contemporary Sweden from a citizen’s perspective' - jenny


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
almost paradise a look at life in contemporary sweden from a citizen s perspective

ALMOST PARADISE?A look at life in contemporary Sweden from a citizen’s perspective

Memphis in May International Teacher’s Conference

Focus on Sweden

Memphis, TN

February 23, 2013

Susan L. Holmberg, Ph.D.

Visiting Scholar, Department of Scandinavian Studies

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

[email protected]

contents
CONTENTS
  • “Utopian” aspects of life in Sweden (from US perspective)
    • Health care
    • Family policy
    • Democracy
  • Shadows on the horizon
health care equal access key to keeping sweden healthy
”Health care: Equal access — key to keeping Sweden healthy”

Everyone in Sweden has equal access to healthcare services under a largelydecentralized, taxpayer-funded system. Like manyothercountries, Sweden facesnumerouschallenges, such as funding, quality and efficiency of itshealthcare services.”

(from FactSheet on Health Care, Swedish Institute, www.sweden.se)

price ceilings in us dollars
Price Ceilings(in US Dollars)

Conversion rate:

SEK 100 = $15.13

Averagenetannualincome in Sweden = $ 34, 920

what the pharmacist told me
What the pharmacisttoldme…

After explaining my initial idea of askingpharmacycustomers to guesshowmuchAmericanspay for the medicationsthey are picking up, a pharmacisttoldme:

”Theywon’t be able to make a guessbecausetheydon’tneed to thinkabout it like that. There is a priceceilingabovewhichtheydo not spendanymoney, regardless of the type of medicine.”

Exactceilinglevel is set at the county or municipal level: no higherthan SEK 2,200 ($328.00) per year

the best feature of the swedish system is
”The best feature of the Swedish system is…”

Male, 20’s

..that it doesn’tcostmoney, you just payonefee and it’sprotected

Male, 50’s

…that it is available to everyone – everyone has a right to healthcare

Male, 60’s

..that it is open for everyone, regardless of your social position, it makes no differenceif you are rich or poor

Female, 20’s

..that you don’thave to paymuch, like in someothercountries…

Male, 70’s

...when you are sick you are well taken care of – oneneedneverworry that onecannotaffordcare

Female, 70’s

…all citizens are covered, if you are bornhere you have a right to it

the worst feature of the swedish system is
”The worst feature of the Swedish system is…”

Male, 20’s

..that it can be unevenquality at different clinics…

Male, 50’s

…the longwaiting periods, several hands workingtogether so it takes time (?)

Female, 20’s

..it depends, I’veheard bad thingsaboutsomeclinicswheretheydon’tgreet you well

Male, 60’s

..that doctors are not on a fixedschedule like otherhealthcareemployees – most Landsting don’thaveenoughdoctors, causeslongwaits

Male, 70’s

…that everything is beingcut back to savemoneybecause of the increasingcosts, new machines, equipment so expensive

Female, 70’s

…that it’sgottenworse over time, longwaiting periods, lines, even cancer carecantake up to 2 or weeks..

child allowance
Child Allowance

All children are entitled to tax-free allowance ($164/mo) until the age of 16*

* Note that additionalmoney is given per additionalchild

study allowance
StudyAllowance

At 16, children in schoolreceivestudyallowance (SEK 1050/mo exceptJuly and August) untilthey are 20 yearsold, providedthey are studying full time

paid parental leave
Paid Parental Leave
  • A total of 480 paiddaysprovided to parents
free daycare
Free Daycare
  • Children between the ages of 1 and 5
  • National standards
free education
Free Education

Tuition-freeschooling from primarythrough PhD levels

Free lunch for K-12

voter turnout
VoterTurnout

Sweden maintainsrelatively high levels of voterturnout, generallyabove 80% over the past 60+ years

political parties
PoliticalParties

Proportional Representation system with 4% minimum to gain representation in Parliament (or local, regional legislatures)

level playing field
Levelplayingfield
  • All partiesreceivefunding for electioncampaign
  • Interest representation generallyinclusive, collective – lobbying in the US sensedoes not exist
  • Restrictions on politicaladvertising on commercial (and public service) television and radio – campaigns not dominated by TV ads as in US
  • In Sweden, money is not as necessary a precondition for politicalmobilization as it is in the US
independent accountable media
Independent, accountable media

Public service broadcasting in Sweden is oldest and mosttrustworthysource of political information

slide24
Financial and editorialindependence
  • Funded 100% by licensefees (BBC model), not taxes or advertising
  • This keepsbroadcast budgets independent of politicalalignments in Parliament
  • It alsomaintainsindependence from corporations (i.e no advertising)
accountability and transparency
Accountability and transparency

Because it is funded by the public, program content must maintaincertain standards of quality and responsibility – in news reporting, standards of impartiality and substance are required

health care1
Health care
  • Aging population with low population growth
  • Increasingcosts for medicalequipment and medication
  • Provision of qualityacross the board, in urban and rural areas, wealthier and poorerneighborhoods
  • Recruitment of qualitymedicalpersonnel – doctors, nurses, technicians and homehelp/eldercare
family policy1
Family Policy
  • ”benefitsaddiction”? Extensive and generous universal benefits are costly, butexpectation and sense of entitlement are deeplyentrenched
  • ”curling generation” might not be motivated to work, sacrifice for others
  • Parental leavecreatesuneven pockets in the workforce, increasesneed for temporaryworkers
democracy1
Democracy
  • Recent decadeshaveseenrise in right wing extremism, reactionsagainstinflux of immigrants and refugees – Sweden Democrat Party nowestablished in Parliament and regional governments
  • ”American style” politics in the form of lobbying and politicaladvertising are edginginto the Swedish system
  • The media landscape is rapidlychanging, becomingincreasinglycommercial - public service is struggling to maintainitsprominence and the licensefee is a recurringissue
summary
SUMMARY
  • To an American, life in Sweden canseem like a dream or fantasy wheremany of the economicburdens of everyday life simplydon’texist
  • Health care is practicallyfreeacross the board, with priceceilings and protections, along with guarantees of qualitytreatment for all
  • All childrenreceivemoneyeachmonth and freeschool lunch, along with freeschooling, and parents are given a year and a half of paidleavewhen a child is born
  • Politicalparticipation is widespread and inclusive, and politicaldiscoursetakesplace in a (relatively) responsible and ethical media environment
  • One of the mainchallenges for the future is maintaining this high level of universal benefits and guarantees, all of which are tax-based – without universal benefits, the consensus to contribute (and receivebenefits) mayerode
  • Another major challenge to the Swedish ”paradise” is creepingintoleranceagainst ”outsiders”, particularlynon-Europeanethnicgroups, as competition for scarceresourcesincreases
for more information try the following links
For more information, try the followinglinks
  • www.sweden.se - The Swedish Institute Home Page (Gatewayto Sweden)
  • www.riksdagen.se – The Swedish Parliament – the Riksdag
  • www.fhi.se — The Swedish National Institute of Public Health
  • www.scb.se — Statistics Sweden
  • www.forsakringskassan.se - The Swedish Social Insurance Agency
  • english.skl.se — The Swedish Association of LocalAuthorities and Regions
  • www.socialstyrelsen.se — The National Board of Health and Welfare
  • www.sweden.gov.se — The Government Offices of Sweden
ad