Healthcare System in Iceland Criticized Skip to content

Healthcare System in Iceland Criticized

Pétur Blöndal, an MP for the Independence Party (Sjálfstaedisflokkurinn), says the healthcare system in Iceland is running at increased loss after hospital staff began encouraging patients to undergo expensive and unnecessary treatments.

“It is extremely destructive,” Blöndal said, referring to patients being submitted to hospital when they only need treatments during the day, because such treatments can be very expensive while hospitalization is free, Fréttabladid reports.

While the patient is spared the bill, the healthcare system has to cover it. One bed space at the National Hospital costs about ISK 60,000 (USD 962, EUR 680) for every 24 hours.

Sigursteinn Másson, chairman of the Organization of Handicapped in Iceland (OHI), agrees. “I know many employees within the health sector feel bad about charging high sums to people who often have little money,” Másson said. That’s why hospital staff often recommends unnecessary hospitalization, he explained.

Másson suggests all charges for healthcare service be suspended, but Blöndal does not agree that is the best solution.

The government’s agenda includes simplifying and lowering the cost of the healthcare system. But the system is “incredibly complex,” Blöndal said, adding that, “The goal is to even out the charges to lighten the burden on those who already have sums too high to pay.”

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