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  • 1.
    Örnerheim, Mattias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Police Education. Linköpings universitet, Statsvetenskap.
    Sommar, Carl-Johan
    Linköpings Universitet.
    Wihlborg, Elin
    Linköpings Universitet.
    Sustainability adaptation and frame reflection in Swedish healthcare regions2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainability issues strike a conflict of aims in healthcare. To provide safe, high quality and efficient healthcare services is a general welfare policy aim in most European countries but this cannot be promoted to the detriment of the environment. The UN-development goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development seeks to raise awareness of and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. Based on the UN development goals, sustainable healthcare systems include a complexity and multitude of aspects, from access to equal healthcare in local communities to global challenges as antibiotic resistance.

    However, the global policy idea of sustainability require adaptation processes to make sense in regional and/or local practices. In the Swedish two-tier system, the responsibility for the funding, provision and governance of healthcare is delegated to the second-tier level. There is a long tradition in Sweden of regional self-government in health policy issues, but the debate about sustainability in accordance with the UN-development goals has so far been very modest in the Swedish healthcare sector. Therefore, adaptation to the three dimensions of sustainability demands a shift in understanding of how to address the problem. Hence, our question is how healthcare regions frame adaptation to the three dimensions of sustainability.

    This paper adopts a discursive-institutional perspective, highlighting how regions and the healthcare sector frame adaptation to sustainability. Since sustainability questions will interact with healthcare issues, adaptation requires reflection upon which are the most important and appropriate policies for the future, and how these policies are framed.  

    The data collection is based on interviews at managerial level to catch the regions perceptions of the challenges and adaptation in reaching a sustainable healthcare system. The study includes four of Sweden’s 20 healthcare regions. We apply a comparative method to explain how the adaptation capacity varies between the self-governing healthcare regions. This paper contributes in producing insights in the role of frames and adaptation processes in regional healthcare decision-making. How democratic ruled healthcare regions explore and adapt to sustainability issues through different frames also reveals adaptive capacities to policy problems and conflicting aims.

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