Icelandic healthcare monopoly comes under fire Skip to content

Icelandic healthcare monopoly comes under fire

Iceland’s main hospital, Landspítali-haskólasjúkrahús or LSH (National Hospital – University Hospital), has been the subject of considerable media attention because of various management problems.

On Wednesday, the daily Morgunbladid made LSH and the Icelandic health care system the topic of its editorial.

Morgunbladid points out that even if the hospital’s management claims to have secured better control over the institution’s finances, serious issues remain unsolved.

In its leader, Morgunbladid focuses on the waiting lists. Quoting numbers from LSH, Morgunbladid says that 2,167 people currently waitlisted to undergo surgery at LSH. Morgunbladid says that even if that number has gone down by 16% since last year, “it is still very large.”

Morgunbladid goes on to ask how people would react if they were faced with similar level of service in other parts of the economy. “If a telco made its customers wait 3 months for a dial tone they would go to is competitor,” writes Morgunbladid.

“It is long overdue that the healthcare system be restructured,” writes Morgunbladid. It refers to the current debate in the UK where the British government has said that the healthcare service should be about “choice, not wait”. “It is time that this way of thinking be introduced in Icelandic health care,” writes Morgunbladid.

“In part, the waitlists are about money,” writes Morgunbladid, “but they are also about the ridiculous monopolistic arrangement that now exists in Icelandic health care services.” “Competition and choice would incentivize LSH to do better,” writes Morgunbladid.

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