Profitable welfare was a hot topic in Almedalen, where Swedish politicians met for debates and seminars during last week. Whether welfare should be profitable or not is something that divides the political parties today and the discussion has become an electoral issue. The health care sector poses no exception, should companies make profit on people being sick?
In an interview with Amir Mofidi founder and CEO and of Gothenburg based start-up Bokavård.se, an online market place for health care, a different view of what is being discussed by the politicians is presented.
“Health care in Sweden is inefficient, compared internationally. The average here is of just over 400 patients per doctor per year compared to some other countries that has 2000. “
A core problem roots in the difficulty to reach and get an appointment at a clinic thus the main method of contact is by phone. Over 60 million bookings by phone a year require a notable amount of administration. Bottlenecks and long queues are also created by having doctors doing a lot of paperwork. Due to the long waiting queues a lot of patients instead go to emergency rooms for non-emergency conditions where they have to wait for hours. Private services can help find a GP, chiropractor or whatever suits the patient needs within hours and reducing administration for the receiving part to basically none according to Amir.
“First step of getting care is getting access to caregivers. When healthcare is accessible it improves the prophylactic care as it is easier to catch illnesses in the early stage before they become severe. But the general practitioner clinics get their money out of registered patients, which means that when patients are visiting the clinics it is more of a cost then a profit. Therefore they don’t bother to receive patients more than necessary.”
Amir adds that politicians need to overlook the structure of the healthcare sector to make it more efficient. The question regarding profitable health care should rather be how to open up the county council and health care system for new ideas and to look towards external expertise in processing. The majority of party leaders see to eliminate or restrict venture capital in welfare, something that Annie Lööf (C) numerous times criticised. Without the venture capital these processes will have a harder time to be implemented.
“I find the discussions a bit tilted and not giving a fair view of the problem, because a lot of the issues in private driven clinics can also be found in government funded clinics also. I don’t think we need to spend that much more money, but we need to use our resources more effectively”
Experts that specialise in process optimising must together with physicians and doctors find less time consuming ways in health care process. With large retirement groups ahead, a lot of which works in the health care today, efficient processing will be essential in the future of the upcoming health care needs. There is already a marketplace within the segment of health care as 50% of the caregivers are in private sector even if it’s funded by public money.
Clinics are good at giving care, but lack expertise in driving customer flows and customer values beyond basic services. That’s where services like Bokavård comes into play hence they have the customer knowledge and the right tools to lessen the administrative strain in the Swedish health care spiral.
“Many clinics need and want more patients, but they don’t really know how because they specialise in giving care, so we help on both ends.”
A viable market place in the health care sector allows people to get the care they require.
Article written by Erik Sjölin.