Are we making money off of sick people? This is a question that comes up occasionally. While most people are very understanding of our price levels, it’s natural for the question to arise in a country where healthcare is mainly financed by taxes.
A consultation with us is typically over six times longer than a standard visit with your primary care physician. In addition, our approach also requires a substantial amount of work before and after consultations (often several hours). Thus, our patients get good value for their money. Our fees may look high, but the “invisible” amount of hours spent are significant.
Costs Become Visible When Healthcare is Not Subsidised
Swedish healthcare is mainly financed by taxes and apart from the small patient fee and symbolic cost for any prescribed pharmaceuticals, the actual costs are invisible to the patient. Since the County Council (Landstinget) does not offer agreements with functional medicine clinics, neither our work nor the tests we offer are subsidised by tax funds. As lifestyle and preventative medicine is more important for public health than ever, our hope is that our services will, someday, be subsidised as other medical facilities’.
Higher Initial Cost – Financial Benefit in the Long Run
Comparing standard healthcare and functional medicine, initial costs for the patient are significantly higher with us. In the long run, however, a functional medicine strategy is most likely the clear winner – both for society and for the individual. Our business model is neither to create long-term and expensive drug dependence, nor to make patients come back again and again. Instead, we hope to get new clients from recommendations by happy patients. Our goal is to create long-term health improvements in order for patients to avoid decades of doctor’s visits, medications, sick leave and early retirement. We want to hand our patients tools to stay healthy for life and then send them off into a bright future.
We must all make a living. All of us working at Nordic Clinic can’t think of a more rewarding way to make a living than to help people back to better health in a way we’re convinced is the most effective and sustainable.
Criticism toward Supplement Providers and Test Laboratories
A recurring criticism directed toward test and supplement providers is that they take advantage of sick patients’ despair and hopes of getting back to health. In no way does this differ from standard care. Many tests used by physicians at primary care centers and hospitals have been developed by private companies and laboratories that make money on their products and services.
Some also claim that selling supplements is a way of fooling people for money, as opposed to the drugs that are prescribed by the healthcare system. Behind every supplement we use, there is extensive research backing its effectiveness. That research is usually not carried out by the very same companies that have created the products, but mainly by independent, academic researchers. This stands in contrast to pharmaceutical drugs where the pharmaceutical businesses themselves carry out the majority of the research.
Many research reports published by pharmaceutical companies have been questioned by independent researchers and doctors for their reliability and incentives over the years. When questioning incentives, perhaps the primary focus ought to be turned to the ethics of pharmaceutical companies rather than the supplement industry. However, some level of caution is always sound when dealing with drugs or supplements alike.
Passion for Health Drives Our Employees
Many practitioners of functional medicine were patients themselves once. This is also true for us at Nordic Clinic Stockholm. Being patients in the standard health care system, we often experienced the inadequacies of their way of working and addressing patients. Instead, we found our own way and discovered the power of lifestyle and root cause medicine. With burning passion we wish to spread the word of functional medicine to help others. Sadly, there’s yet little room for our way of working in standard health care. Thus, our only choice is to work at private clinics where patients themselves have to finance their care.
Disillusioned Healthcare Professionals Find Their Home in Functional Medicine
While many practitioners in standard healthcare become disillusioned, both over workload and lack of time and resources, we don’t suffer under the same pressing conditions. Some doctors find their way to functional medicine because they’re frustrated. They feel unable to help their patients and experience the dominating drug-focused approach as problematic. With us, they get to spend the time they require to do a good job.