The organisation and responsibility for care for older people in Denmark, Finland and Sweden: outline and comparison of care systems

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Aim: To outline the organisation and responsibility for health and social care provided to older people in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Methods: Non-quantifiable data on the care systems were collated from the literature and expert consultations. The responsibilities for primary healthcare, specialised healthcare, prevention and health promotion, rehabilitation, and social care were presented in relation to policy guidance, funding and organisation. Results: In all three countries, the state issues policy and to some extent co-funds the largely decentralised systems; in Denmark and Sweden the regions and municipalities organise the provision of care services – a system that is also about to be implemented in Finland to improve care coordination and make access more equal. Care for older citizens focuses to a large extent on enabling them to live independently in their own homes. Conclusions: Decentralised care systems are challenged by considerable local variations, possibly jeopardising care equity. State-level decision and policy makers need to be aware of these challenges and monitor developments to prevent further health and social care disparities in the ageing population.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)119–122
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) 2023.

    Research areas

  • Ageing, care provision, care responsibility, care systems, health and social care, health equity, health policy, health services research, Nordic countries, older adults

ID: 337242482