Johan Hjertqvist heads the Health Policy Unit at Timbro, the think-tank of Swedish enterprise. In this article, Mr. Herqvist summarises the healthcare advances made in Stockholm during the 1990s, describing the reforming process and its good results, but also new difficulties that have cropped up along the way. To prevent the Stockholm model from becoming a sick man itself, radical new approaches are needed to strengthen economic incentives and market mechanism. Are there any politicians with the courage to go further?

One thing, though, is certain. Healthcare in Stockholm will never revert to the allocation funding and command economy of the 1980s. The move towards consumer control, diversity and network healthcare has gone too far for that to be possible. The change experienced so far is merely the end of the beginning of a much bigger historical process. You ain’t seen nothing yet!

Johan Hjertqvist recently concluded a long-term project, resulting in three books, on the healthcare reforms in the Stockholm region. He is a widely known international lecturer on healthcare strategies and renewal processes. To read “The End of the Beginning” click here.