Stockholm City Hall in Sweden

Photo: Björn Olin, Folio/

Sweden’s healthcare system study tour

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regularly ranks Sweden as amongst the best healthcare system in the world (see Commonwealth table below). Its healthcare system is often used as a reference model for other countries. Our Sweden’s healthcare system study tour provides a rich learning and development opportunity for healthcare educators as well as students in public health, international health as well as international health administration. Students with healthcare experience gain opportunities to develop cross-cultural competencies and direct experience in contrasting their native country’s own national healthcare system to Sweden’s.

Why study healthcare in Sweden?


Comparative analysis of healthcare systems; Table from June 2014 article by The Commonwealth Fund

Sweden has a long tradition of delivering high quality, economically viable healthcare services to all of its citizens. For many years Sweden’s health care system has ranked at or near the top in most comparative analyses. Today, life expectancy in Sweden is 83 years for women and 79 for men—highest in the world after Japan. Many elderly people in Sweden are in good health and lead active lives. Meanwhile, a high degree of cooperation between private companies and public hospitals has led the country to be the birthplace of many medtech innovations. The result: Sweden’s healthcare professionals offer a wealth of knowledge and insights into most medical fields and healthcare processes. All of which makes Swedish healthcare and public social welfare models highly interesting study subjects for care educators, professionals, officials and students in other countries.


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Overview of Sweden’s healthcare system study tour

This intensive study tour combines theoretical classroom lectures, practical visits to hospitals/clinics in Sweden and as well as being immersed in the cultural aspects of healthcare and social services Sweden. All of the study tour details — i.e. topics, facilities visited, lecturers, dates and accommodations — will be fully customized to suit the interests and needs of your group. Explore its various aspects below. 

Who should attend

Participants are most likely today working as:

  • Students studying international healthcare
  • Students studying healthcare administration
  • Students studying public health
  • Mid-level healthcare professionals
  • Healthcare education directors and teachers


The objective is to provide students with the ability to compare and contrast the various components of national healthcare systems in Sweden and their own country in order to:

  • Gain an understanding of differing healthcare delivery models through examining the Swedish healthcare system, including the systemic challenges, delivery models, financial models, and political decisions that impact a healthcare system, as compared to the students’ native country
  • Learn about and appreciate another healthcare culture and model while being immersed in that culture
  • Understand healthcare service activities and examine the ways in which services help to meet those needs
  • Illustrate the ways in which service impacted their understanding of the patient population and encouraged them to think critically about the problems and challenges facing the community

Content includes

Participants will learn key facts about Sweden’s healthcare system, including:

  • Performance on care quality and costs
  • Historical and social development
  • Governance, healthcare law, monitoring and policy, county councils, the role of the patient
  • Financing
  • Care service provision: private vs. public sector
  • Care service provision: purchaser-provider split
  • Care service provision: public social services
  • Reform and patient choice as engines for improved performance and new ways of measuring quality
  • Its performance against and relation to other European systems and EU directives

Participants will engage in site visits to Swedish primary care and hospital facilities to their supplement classroom lectures, which are held by key researchers and practitioners from leading Swedish healthcare facilities, industry organizations and educational institutions.

See example Study Tour Schedule.


The program will consist of lectures, interactive discussions and practical exercises that provide attendees with demonstrations and hands-on training at local clinics in Sweden. This means the study tour will include visits to primary and hospital care facilities in Sweden. There will be local speakers scheduled during the week.

Students embark on their service experience as a group, traveling to their selected location and service activity. Students will be provided with the necessary tools and supplies for their specific service activity. After completing each day’s required activity, students are required to write journal entries and give details about their daily experiences about what they are experiencing and learning.

Care facilities visited

Mörby primary care clinic
A complete primary healthcare center in Morby Centrum who can take care of you in different stages of life. Here are specialists in family medicine, specialist in pediatrics, district nurses, pediatric nurses, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians and counselors. Mörby employs board certified family physicians and one specialist in otorhinolaryngology. The center offers walk-in emergency care for injuries or sudden illnesses, preventive services, check-ups and immunizations.

Flemingsberg primary care clinic
A family medicine center that has specialists in family medicine, specialist in pediatrics, district nurses, pediatric nurses, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians and counselors.

New Karolinska hospital (Solna, Stockholm)
New Karolinska Solna is the name for the state-of-the-art hospital currently under construction next to Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Stockholm. The new university hospital will open its doors to the first patients at the end of 2016. It is being built to be able to meet the demands of the future in relation to health and medical care. With a greater focus on the patient’s needs, faster provision of care, and increased patient safety with single rooms for all inpatients.

Löjtnantsgården (Solna, Stockholm)
Löjtnantsgården operates nursing and care based on the elderly person’s needs and conditions. As part of this endeavor is a high density of nursing staff. Furthermore, Löjtnantsgården continuously works with the development of the business and takes part in new research.

The elderly person is in focus. His or her needs is our work. In addition, there is room for conversation and questions about existence, faith, life and death. Through our church, we have access to a deacon and pastor of conversation and support for residents and staff.

Resident apartments are 27-34 square meters and equipped with French balcony. We have three accommodation units are intended for people with dementia. There are nine and eight apartments on each unit. This environment and activities are specifically designed for the target group. We have an open dialogue on all issues in the business including patient safety issues.

Example of lecturer

Jens Wilkens

Jens Wilkens
Jens Wilkens is a health economist working at the National Board of Health and Wealth of Sweden, the largest government health agency in Sweden. His main field of work is analysis of organization and financing of health systems. In addition, he teaches courses on health systems development and health care financing at both Uppsala University (Department for Women’s and Children’s Health) and the Karolinska Institute (Department of Public Health). Mr. Wilkens previously worked at the Health Financing Departments of the WHO European Regional Office in Copenhagen and for WHO Headquarters in Geneva. He has also worked as a consultant in the field of health systems and financing for a wide range of institutions.


Let’s start planning your tour!
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