The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 12 April 2022

Coordination before and during a crisis

To be able to respond to an outbreak of a serious communicable disease or other cross-border health threat, several public authorities, regions, municipalities and organisations need to work together. The Public Health Agency of Sweden is responsible for coordinating the national work with communicable disease control before and in the event of a crisis.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden coordinates the work with communicable disease control on a national level, and coordinates preparations for the supply of medicines ahead of serious outbreaks of certain communicable diseases. In addition, the Agency coordinates preparedness against serious cross-border health threats in line with the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005). These health threats may be caused by biological, chemical or radiological and nuclear materials. Health threats of an environmental or unknown origin are also included.

The Agency is also the designated national focal point for the WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). This makes the Agency a link between preparedness on local and regional levels in Sweden, and international preparedness work.

IHR – International Health Regulations (in Swedish)

Emergency stocks of communicable disease medicines (in Swedish)

The Public Health Agency of Sweden also coordinates national pandemic preparedness and provides support for local and regional planning, where the operative responsibility lies.

Pandemic preparedness (in Swedish)

Several national, regional and local authorities are jointly responsible for preventing and responding to the spread of communicable diseases. The Public Health Agency of Sweden will cooperate with various operators depending on the type of health threat that needs to be addressed. Regional communicable disease physicians and many other public authorities around the country are crucial links in the chain that ensures we are well-protected against communicable diseases and other serious health threats.

The fact that the Agency coordinates the national communicable disease control and preparedness against cross-border health threats does not mean that the Agency will manage all health threats; health threats are dealt with according to the principle of responsibility. The principle of responsibility means that an actor who is responsible for an organisation or activity in regular situations has the same responsibility during a crisis. However, all actors affected by a crisis need to support each other and cooperate.

Read more about the basics of crisis management at krisinformation.se (in Swedish)

In the event of a crisis

In the event of a serious crisis, the Public Health Agency of Sweden must be able to rapidly establish a management function if the crisis is related to its area of responsibility, or brings about a need for cooperation between other operators in the sector. The Agency’s crisis management organisation must be flexible and be able to adapt to current disruptions and the heightened need of coordination and orientation to respond to the situation that has arisen.