STOCKHOLM, KOMPAS.com – Elderly care funding in Sweden is expected to receive an extra injection of around $500 million in the Nordic country’s 2021 budget.
Sweden’s center-left government is providing more financial support after the coronavirus pandemic revealed weaknesses in its welfare system.
The Covid-19 crisis has also claimed a number of deaths in Sweden’s senior care homes sparking widespread concern.
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Aside from elderly care funding in Sweden, the government is boosting spending by more than 100 billion Swedish crowns or $11.45 billion in the 2021 budget that will be published on Sept. 21.
Like many of its European neighbors, the Nordic country is looking to restart the economy and plug holes in the welfare system exposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Our goal must be to build the world's best system of elderly care, and this spring and the coronavirus have showed that we need to speed up this work," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told reporters on Monday.
Sweden's death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has been much larger than its Nordic neighbors, though less than countries like Britain and Spain.
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Most of those deaths have been among the elderly, including many residents in care homes.
Around 5,800 Swedes have died compared with around 340 people in Finland, which has about half the population of its bigger neighbor, and Lofven's minority government has faced widespread criticism for failing to protect vulnerable citizens.
Lofven said budget, negotiated with two small center-right parties which nominally sit in opposition, would prioritize welfare, fighting climate change, and building up the criminal justice system, amid worries about violent crime.
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"The budget has a clear direction — it will make it possible for everyone in our country to contribute and work Sweden out of this crisis," Lofven said.
In addition to the 9.7 billion crowns for elderly care, local authorities will get an extra 10 billion crowns ($1.14 billion) in grants from the central government, with an additional 5 billion crowns coming in 2022.
(Writers: Simon Johnson, Johan Ahlander | Editor: Catherine Evans)
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