Health Care in SwedenSweden has the highest income tax rate in the world. More than 57% is annually deducted from people’s incomes. However, Sweden placed seventh out of 156 countries in the World Happiness Report 2019, and its health care system is one of the best in the world.

In 1995, Sweden joined the European Union and its population recently reached over 10 million people. Health care is financed through taxes and most health fees are very low. Sweden operates on the principle that those who need medical care most urgently are treated first. Higher education is also free, not only to Swedes, but also to those who reside in the rest of the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland. Like health care, it is largely financed by tax revenue. Here are 10 facts about health care in Sweden.

 10 Facts About Health Care in Sweden

Sweden has a decentralized universal health care system for everyone. The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs dictates health policy and budgets, but the 21 regional councils finance health expenditures through tax funding; an additional 290 municipalities take care of individuals who are disabled or elderly. To service 10.23 million people, Sweden has 70 regionally-owned public hospitals, seven university hospitals, and six private hospitals.

Most medical fees are capped and have a high-cost ceiling. According to the Swedish law, hospitalization fees are not allowed to surpass 100 kr (Swedish Krona), which is equivalent to $10.88, a day and, in most regions, the charge for ambulance or helicopter service is capped at 1,100 kr ($120). Prescription drugs have a fee cap and patients never pay more than 2,350 kr ($255) in a one-year period. In the course of one year, the maximum out-of-pocket cost is 1,150 kr ($125) for all medical consultations. If the person exceeds the cap, all other consultations will be free. Additionally, medical services are free for all people under the age of 18.

The cost for medical consultations not only has a price cap, but is generally low. The average cost of a primary care visit is 150 kr-300 kr ($16-$33) and the cost of a specialist consultation, including mental health services, ranges from 200 kr-400 kr ($22-$42). The cost of hospitalization, including pharmaceuticals, does not exceed 100 kr ($11) per day and people under the age of 20 are exempt from all co-payments. Health care services, such as immunizations, cancer screenings, and maternity care, are also free and have no co-payments.

All dental care for people under the age of 23 is free. When a person turns 23, they no longer qualify for free dental health care in Sweden and must pay out of pocket. However, the government pays them annual subsidies, or an allowance, of 600 kr ($65) to pay for dental expenses. In Sweden, the cost of a tooth extraction is 950 kr ($103) and the cleaning and root filling for a single root canal costs 3,150 kr ($342). If dental care costs total anywhere between 3,000 kr-15,000 kr ($326-$1,632), the patient is reimbursed 50% of the cost. If it exceeds 15,000 kr, 85% of the cost is reimbursed.

To battle its large medical waiting lists, Sweden has implemented a 0-30-90-90 rule. The wait-time guarantee, or the 0-30-90-90 rule, ensures that there will be zero delay, meaning patients will receive immediate access to health care advice and a seven-day waiting period to see a general practitioner. The rule also guarantees that a patient will not wait more than 90 days to see a specialist and will receive surgical treatment, like cataract removal or hip-replacement surgery, a maximum of 90 days after diagnosis. Sweden’s government also committed 500 kr million ($55 million) to significantly decrease wait time for all cancer treatments. In 2016, Sweden developed a plan to further improve its health services by 2025 through the adoption of e-health.

In 2010, Sweden made private health care insurance available. The use of private health insurance has been increasing due to the low number of hospitals, long waiting times to receive health care, and Sweden’s priority treatment of emergency cases first. In Sweden, one in 10 people do not rely on Sweden’s universal health care but instead purchase private health insurance. While the costs for private plans vary, one can expect to pay 4,000 kr ($435) annually for one person, on average.

Sweden’s life expectancy is 82.40 years old. This surpasses the life expectancies in Germany, the UK, and the United States. Maternal health care in Sweden is particularly strong because both parents are entitled to a 480-day leave at 80% salary and their job is guaranteed when they come back. Sweden also has one of the lowest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. Four in 100,000 women die during childbirth and there are 2.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. There are 5.4 physicians per 1,000 people, which is twice as great as in the U.S and the U.K, and 100% of births are assisted by medical personnel.

The leading causes of death are Ischemic heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and colorectal cancer. While the biggest risk factors that drive most deaths are tobacco, dietary risks, high blood pressure, and high body-mass index, only 20.6% of the Swedish population is obese and 85% of Swedes do not smoke. The Healthcare Access and Quality Index (HAQ Index) also estimates that, in 2016, the rate of amenable mortality, or people with potentially preventable diseases, were saved at a rate of 95.5% in Sweden. The HAQ Index estimates how well health care in Sweden functions; the index shows that it is one of the best in the world.

Sweden’s health expenditure represents a little over 11% of its GDP, most of which is funded by municipal and regional taxes. Additionally, in Sweden, all higher education is free, including medical schools. There are no tuition fees and a physician can expect to have an average monthly salary of 77,900 kr ($8,500).

In Sweden, 1 in 5 people is 65 or older, but the birth rate and population size are still growing. Because Sweden has one of the best social welfare and health care systems in the world, people live longer and therefore 20% of the population does not generate income or pay taxes from their salary. This dynamic stagnates social welfare benefits and slows down the economy. Increasing immigration and a rise in births are the two solutions to ensure that the younger generations will receive the same benefits. Swedish-born women have an average of 1.7 children and foreign-born women have an average of 2.1 children. In 1990, Sweden broke the 2.1 children fertility rate but quickly dropped below 2.0 in 2010. Since 2010, Sweden has seen an increase of 100,000-150,000 immigrants and has seen 45,000 citizens emigrate.

In 2018, Sweden reached its record highest GDP (PPP) per capita of almost $50,000. Despite having the highest taxes in the world, the living conditions and health care in Sweden are some of the best. With time, its population will continue to grow and the health care system will continue to advance.

– Anna Sharudenko

Photo: Flickr

The post 10 Facts About Health Care in Sweden appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Original Source: borgenproject.org

international cannabis

In prior blog posts (see here, here, and here), I described how we field regular inquiries regarding international cannabis, both from companies inside the U.S. looking internationally and from international companies looking to the U.S. market. This post deals with geography issues for international companies seeking to enter the U.S. market.

Where to locate your business?

If you have spent any time in the U.S., you know that it is very easy to travel from one state to another and that, except for weather, geography and regional cultural differences, the U.S. feels quite homogeneous. That means that as a business owner you will want to focus on where your customer base will be and whether you need to be near your customer base or can do your business from a nearby state.

For retail businesses, you will need to set up shop where your customer base is. For wholesale or e-commerce companies, you have more flexibility on where to set up your base of operations. Even retail businesses can set up operations in another region or state if it makes sense.

For instance, if California were a sovereign nation, its economy would be the 5th largest in the world. That makes California extremely attractive to businesses. But California also comes with a host of potential negative issues in both the cannabis and non-cannabis realms, whereas Nevada, which is next to California, has more favorable cannabis laws and regulations and a favorable enforcement history. Nevada’s employment laws favor employers, with much fewer regulations (including business tax levies) to deal with than California.

Ease of transportation logistics.

Most products in the U.S. travel by semi-trailer truck. If your cannabis-hemp business will have multiple locations in multiple states, or if you will be shipping directly to customers in multiple states, then you will want to consider locating close to good road transportation infrastructure. Las Vegas is situated on the I-15 freeway corridor and is only 6-8 hours from the major California and Arizona markets; 12 hours from Colorado, and 18 hours from Washington.

Looking to the eastern US, locations such as Nashville, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia are strong candidates for a logistics hub because each is within 12-18 hours of retail markets from Boston, Massachusetts) to Miami, Florida and many midwestern US states.

U.S. employment generally.

Each U.S. state has its own employment laws, with some states heavily favoring employee rights and others more favoring the employer. This is generally reflected in state employment tax and insurance requirements.

As noted above, Nevada is very employer-friendly, while California is extremely employee-friendly. Tennessee and Georgia are each employer-friendly states.

Depending on your business needs, you should consider whether the location of your business center or your logistics hub will be more important than the location of your employees. Consider the roles of your employees. You may prefer to have an employee based in a different geographic area than your retail locations or your logistics hub.

When you are considering employees, it is generally best to hire in an employer-friendly state as you test the U.S. market for your products.

Is state registration required?

Once you determine the geographic scope of your business, you need to determine whether you need to register to do business in a particular U.S. state, even if you are only storing product and conducting e-commerce in that state.

Each state will have its own department of labor (regarding employee matters), department of revenue (regarding taxation matters), department of commerce (regarding general business matters), and cannabis regulatory department (which could be under a state’s department of agriculture, department of alcohol and tobacco, or another specialty department).

Your particular activities within each state will dictate with which departments you need to register. You will find that most state departments are extremely accommodating, so you should plan to reach out early in your decision process. That is especially true if you are undecided as to which U.S. states will be optimal for your initial business operations.

The post International Cannabis: Guidance for Companies Entering the U.S. Market, Part 4 –  Geography Matters appeared first on Harris Bricken.

Original Source: harrisbricken.com

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