About SBU

SBU, Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services, is charged with undertaking independent assessments of methods used in health, medical and dental services. SBU also evaluates methods used by social services and services provided with the support of the Law regulating Support and Service to Persons with Certain Functional Disabilities (LSS).

Questions addressed by SBU include:

  • How good is a treatment or a procedure?
  • How best to determine need?
  • How should resources be allotted to provide the greatest possible benefit?

SBU provides the knowledge needed to provide better health and medical care
Society provides support for people in different ways – in the form of medical care, aged care and care of the disabled, or special care in cases of substance abuse. A child who is vulnerable or has difficulties at school can also need support from society through healthcare or social services. But what type of treatment, care or support is safest and most effective? These are the issues SBU assesses.

Scrutinising and collating research

Researchers study the effect of different treatments. Their results are published as articles in scientific journals. However, such huge numbers of articles are published that it is impossible for the individual professional to keep abreast of developments. SBU provides an overview by critical assessment and collation of research results on a specific topic or question.

SBU is an agency, commissioned by the government to evaluate the scientific evidence supporting both new and established measures within health, medical, dental and social services. The assessments cover clinical, social, ethical and health economic perspectives.

SBU started in 1987 and is one of the oldest organisations in the world in the field of Health Technology Assessment, HTA. HTA involves systematic independent assessment of a method, including side effects, cost-effectiveness and ethical implications.

Helping society to provide the best possible care SBU’s assessments can serve as support for decision-makers, for those working in medical or social services and other involved parties. SBU also identifies areas where there is inadequate knowledge about the effect of different measures.

Links to information about Sweden's healthcare system

The National Swedish Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen)

https://www.socialstyrelsen.se/en/about-us/healthcare-for-visitors-to-sweden/about-the-swedish-healthcare-system/

European Observatory

Sweden health system information (who.int)

Country health profile:
Sweden: Country Health Profile 2021 (who.int).