Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

In global comparison, Sweden generally has good results for almost all the targets included in this goal. Since 2003, there has been a national public health policy adopted by the Riksdag covering eleven target areas. The overarching goal adopted is to create societal conditions for good health on equal terms for the entire population. The Health and Medical Services Act (2017:30) stipulates that care shall be delivered with respect to the equal value of all humans and the dignity of every individual. The person with the greatest need for health care shall be given priority by the health services. In 2015, the average life expectancy for women was 84 years and for men 80.4. In recent years, there has been a slight upward trend in the life expectancy of both women and men. The remaining number of years at the age of 30 is increasing for the population as a whole, but is several years greater in the group with post-secondary education than in the group with pre-secondary education. This is true of both women and men. These differences have increased over the past ten years.

The Government has made several, extensive efforts to raise the quality of elderly care, increase security for the elderly and to improve the conditions for a gender-equal, equitable and equivalent care in the entire country. Expanded protection against age discrimination entered into force in 2013.

The challenges for Sweden lie in taking measures for health equity, including the reduction of disparities in health and well-being between different groups in society and improving quick and equal access to healthcare for all who are in need of it. Furthermore, unhealthy eating habits is one of the greatest risk factors for ill-health and premature death in Sweden. There are also particular challenges regarding differences in both mental and physical health between different groups of the population, mainly between people with different levels of education and depending on gender. Furthermore, there are differences regarding these factors between LGBT persons, people with disabilities, foreign-born persons, national minorities and indigenous peoples, and the population as a whole. The Government’s goal is to eliminate avoidable health inequalities within a generation. The Commission for Equity in Health was appointed in 2015 with the task of producing proposals that might contribute to the reduction of health disparities in society. A gender equality perspective is to be observed in the Commission’s work.

In 2015, Swedish development cooperation to medical studies and primary health care amounted to approximately SEK 538 million. At the same time, as part of its development cooperation, Sweden is working to draw greater attention to non-infectious diseases, internationally and in national health programmes. Sweden also acts to prioritise financial support for child and maternal care and for sexual and reproductive health and rights. Increasing antibiotic resistance is a major and growing health risk and challenge globally. Sweden has a national strategy to combat such resistance.

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