Scandinavia- Russia – 2008 – Stockholm, Sweden

Monday – June 9 – Day 6 -We arrived in Stockholm at nine this morning.

Stockholm is built on fourteen islands, where Lake Malaren flows into the Baltic.

Swedish, the official language of Sweden, is a Germanic language. It belongs to the Nordic branch and is spoken throughout Sweden and in parts of Finland.

The town is beautiful and worth a visit. We did a walking tour and saw many of the sites. There have been many wars between the Scandinavian countries over their history.

We saw the Storkyrkan Cathedral and the Royal Palace.

The population is 8.9 million people, or just over twenty people per square kilometer. Let that sink in and then think about how small that really is.

Solving problems in a very small country with primarily only one ethnic group who have paid very high taxes for quite sometime is a lot different than solving problems in a country of over three hundred and fifty million people of every different ethnic and cultural background that you can imagine. Also, the birth rate was 1.88 births per woman and has been falling since a peak in the 1960’s.

More importantly however is the demographics of the population. Are there lots of old people who need more health care than not. Are there enough people working to pay enough taxes to pay for the services wanted or needed. Will there be more young people than old people in the future? These numbers drive the resulting problems and solutions. You must have the information to make the arguments.

The birthrate was 1.88 births per woman in the middle of the 1960’s and has been falling ever since with a few up ticks now and then. Will that tax base sustain those levels of care for a long period of time? Many people want great, cheap health care without knowing how important these questions are and how to provide it over a long period. Will people spend years of hard work in college to become doctors in order to make a fixed wage that is not commensurate with all of their hard work? Some will, but will it be enough?

Also, there are many woman who now make up the population of working doctors all around the world.What happens when many of them decide to start a family? The number of doctors will go down. Maybe not for ever, but for a time. All of these issues need to be looked at and understood.

England has Socialized medicine. The system is falling apart. My wife’s family lives there, and everyone who can afford private insurance has it. There are not enough facilities now to take care of those who need care. The waiting time for care is very long and often people die before they receive proper care or stay in a room waiting weeks for a test that we would do in America in a day.Why? Lake of funds for new equipment and rooms.

Canada’s system is similar and has the same type of problems. Women in Canada come to the north east of America to give birth due to lack of delivery rooms and services. Do your own research and see what is really happening. France has a comprehensive medical care system that is broken also. The birthrate in most modern countries is dropping. What does this mean for health care dollars over the long haul?

I know it easer to yell at each other about policies, but do some research and then maybe these problems can be understood and then solved. For the media to hold up England’s medical system as a role model is ridiculous. Do your own research and learn about the issue.

Go to google and look at Biopharmaceutical Innovation: Which countries are the best by Patricia Van Arnum – DCAT Editorial Director.

I would love your feed back. Where is the perfect or best system? I would love to hear about it.