Privatization of elderly care in Sweden: a comparison between quality of public and private home care services

University essay from Lunds universitet/Sociologi

Abstract: The privatization of elderly care system occurred in response to an economical crisis as well as political decisions made in the early 1990‘s. Since the economic crisis was supposed to have a negative impact on quality of elderly care services, the government adopted different policies such as New Public Management strategies, the introduction of a unit price for all care services, and the law implementing ―Freedom of Choice‖ to increase the quality of these elderly care services. In this study, I am going to explain how these policies have been effected on quality of both public and private home care services, as well as compare the organizational and technical differences between public and private home care companies in providing elderly care services. For this purpose, I compared the care provision of three public home care companies with six of private ones in Stockholm, to see how they are different in terms of the quality of their services. Based on my findings, the quality of home care services is higher in private home care companies than in the public ones. One of the reasons for this is the more efficient usage of New Public Management strategies in the private sector. Another factor is the lower hierarchical level in provision of care private sector- this accelerates solving the problems and provision of elderly care services in private home care companies. However the public sector doesn‘t have the two given advantages of private sector, still there is not a huge quality difference between public and private sector in provision of home care services.

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