Our activities

Below you will find a number of tasks within our fields of responsibility.

We compile and pass on information

  • The National Board of Health and Welfare collects, compiles, analyses and passes on information. The intention is that health and social care should be based on sound knowledge and experience.
  • We compile information summaries that contain the latest scientific findings in various fields. The aim here is to provide a basis for knowledge-based care, to support the development of methods and other improvement work, to facilitate quality assurance and to encourage efficient use of resources.
  • We also produce status reports that describe the state of, and developments in, health and medical services, care services for the elderly, care services for the disabled, individual and family services and public health and social conditions.

  • It is the task of the National Board of Health and Welfare to monitor and evaluate the effects on the population of reforms and other political decisions concerning health and social care.

  • We also undertake special assignments which involve supplying the Government, the Riksdag (the parliament), county councils and municipalities with information on which to base their planning.

  • We publish handbooks to support the work of health and social care staff

  • Within the National Board of Health and Welfare there are dedicated units which provide information on, for example, methods and action that produce results in social services, materials used in dental care and rare diseases that only affect a very small number of people.

  • We collaborate with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions in developing national indicators for quality measurement in health and social care.

We develop standards

  • The National Board of Health and Welfare develops standards that will support those working to raise quality and improve safety and efficiency.

  • We issue regulations (mandatory rules) and general advice (strong recommendations) in health and medical services, communicable disease prevention, environmental health and social services.

  • We draw up national guidelines for care and treatment. The aim is to develop and improve health and medical services and social services, and to ensure that they are run with a knowledge of the most effective methods from the point of view of the patient and the community. Another objective is to even out geographical differences in the quality of care.

  • The national guidelines also provide support for prioritizing the allocation of resources to particular parts of the chain of treatment and to particular methods.

  • We are responsible for classifications and consistent terminology within health and social care. Through classification, different diseases, functional states, operations and other medical procedures are put in classes and assigned specific codes. Common illnesses are classified in more detail. One of the reasons for this is to make it easier to collect and analyse statistics.

  • We prepare professional skills descriptions for health and social care staff.

Other duties

  • The National Board of Health and Welfare is responsible for a number of health data registers covering the entire Swedish population:
    • the hospital discharge register, which includes all instances of care at hospitals in Sweden since 1987
    • the cancer register, which contains all primary diagnoses of cancer since 1958
    • the medical birth register, which contains details of all births since 1973
    • the prescribed drug register, which contains information on all prescription medicines dispensed at pharmacies since 2005.
  • We are also responsible for other registers within our fields of responsibility, such as cause of death and financial aid. The registers are widely used for research, statistics and analyses.

Our other duties include:

  • responsibility for the official Swedish statistics in the fields of social services and health and medical services,
  • issuing certificates of registration for persons practicing health and medical services within 21 different professional categories,
  • the allocation of government subsidies to a large number of organizations, for instance for the disabled and for people with abuse problems,

  • the coordination and monitoring of the emergency preparedness of the county councils and the municipalities in health and medical services etc.

  • supporting and educating health care staff on matters concerning organ donation. The National Council for Organ and Tissue Donation also informs the general public and encourages all people in Sweden to make their position on organ donation known.

We also perform the following duties via the independent Legal Advisory Council:

  • taking decisions and giving opinions on cases such as consent for sterilization and late abortions

Decision-making and advisory bodies

At the National Board of Health and Welfare, both decision-making and advisory bodies assist in certain matters related to the Board’s duties.

Some of these bodies have been placed at the Board by decision from the Government, and perform specific duties related to for example

  • permission for abortion, sterilization, artificial insemination or sex change,
  • statements at the request of a court or authority,
  • promoting organ donation and
  • determining where highly specialized health care services are needed nationwide.

Other bodies have been created by the Board itself as forums for discussion with external stakeholders such as other authorities within the field of health care and social care, patient organizations, and healthcare professionals.

For more information on the decision-making and advisory bodies at the Board and how they work, please contact us.