Towards Universal Healthcare: From Private Concern to Public Care, C. 1750-1900

Maria Sjöberg, University of Gothenburg
Helene Castenbrandt, Lund University
Anders Ottosson, University of Gothenburg

Towards Universal Healthcare: From private concern to public care, c. 1750-1900 After WWII, several countries, including Sweden, introduced universal healthcare, mainly organised by the government, and financed through tax revenue. At the end of the 18th century, the situation was almost the opposite. In Sweden most healthcare was managed privately. This would change dramatically during the 19th century. However, little is known about how this large transition from private to public care. British research indicates that for long there was a “mixed economy of welfare” where governmental agents and interests intersected and collided with private care providers. On the contrary, in Swedish research, state-initiated healthcare institutions have been seen as strategically phases towards a publicly organised and financed healthcare apparatus where physicians played the main part. Thus, significant changes within the expanding healthcare infrastructure are overlooked, particularly the healthcare provided by women. Hence, within the framework of a “mixed economy of welfare” this project will study the emergence of public healthcare institutions in connection with the clinical activities conducted both by female and male healthcare providers, inside as well as outside private and governmental institutions. The overall approach of the study is concretized in three case studies where the provincial doctors, the hospitals and the mineral springs clarify the tension between private and public and how this changed.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 160. Healthcare and Health Insurance in Domestic and Imperial Settings