Sweden announces 20bn kronor for health, care and local government

7 Sep 20

Sweden plans to invest billions of kronor in healthcare and help for the elderly, along with giving local governments large cash boosts, as the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The government and its parliamentary allies are currently working to create the 2021 budget, but prime minister Stefan Löfven held a press conference to announce some of the proposals ahead of the budget presentation, set for later in September.

Alongside Centre Party leader Annie Lööf, Löfven outlined plans to put 4bn kronor (£350m) into elderly care, on top of a previously announced 1.7bn kronor (£150m) package hoped to bring new and skilled staff to the sector.

He also said that to address the issue of planned surgeries having been postponed due to Covid-19, 4bn kronor will be injected into the healthcare sector over the next two years.

And Sweden’s 290 municipalities and 21 regions will also be given 10bn kronor (£870m) next year, and a further 5bn kronor boost in 2022.

This money is expected to help local governments, whose tax receipts have collapsed during the pandemic, to fund public services such as education and transport.

Löfven called the measures “a heck of an investment in welfare”, which in Sweden refers to several aspects of public services including education, social security and care.

Lööf, whose party is working with the government to create the budget, said it is “important” to strengthen welfare “throughout the country” in the context of Covid-19.

“During the pandemic, both elderly care and Swedish healthcare have gone through their most difficult strain in modern times,” she added.

“We must now show leadership and make sure to equip our care and elderly care for the time to come, as well as see all the problems and challenges the crisis has brought with it and present a clear plan to take Sweden forward.”

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