Babies and Blunders: How Socialized Medicine Affects Maternity and Emergency Care in Sweden Anne Davis and Jeremiah Ray
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As America moves into an election year, the question of how to provide health care to our nation has become a major issue. Caring for the poor, developing medical technology and controlling malpractice insurance costs only begin the issues to be remedied. Other countries provide alternative models for solving these problems. Socialized medicine represents an alternative, and Sweden, a socialized country for decades, is a prime example of the system. By studying two separate health care sectors, maternity and emergency care, different aspects of care represented in each show a broad view of the health care system as a whole. Sweden?s maternity care system differs from the U.S. in two basic areas. The first, socialization of all maternity expenses, predominantly affects the quality and compliance rates of prenatal care. Secondly, in Sweden, midwives provide all primary care during pregnancy, delivery, and the neonatal period. Sweden?s infant mortality rate is the second lowest in the world, and these two aspects of care show possible solutions for the countries, including the U.S., that fall behind. Emergency care reveals a different side of Swedish health care. Seeing what complaints patients bring to the emergency room exposes which ailments are taken care of by patients? primary care physicians and which are not. Comparisons in technology in many fields including, trauma, radiology and cardiology reveal the progressiveness of the health care system as a whole. Studying maternity and emergency care provides a comprehensive view of Sweden?s health care system.