Responsibility for communicable disease control

The main role of The Public Health Agency of Sweden in regard to communicable diseases control is that of coordination and provision of knowledge and guidelines. The operative responsibility on the other hand lies at the regional level with the County Medical Officers. Providers of health and social care are responsible for having infection prevention and control guidelines and routines in place in order to prevent healthcare-associated infections.

The Public Health Agency of Sweden

The Agency has an overall responsibility for protecting the population against communicable diseases and is responsible for national coordination. The work involves:

  • Drawing up strategies for developing and improving communicable disease prevention and control, in collaboration with other bodies.
  • Drawing up recommendations on important topics, based on the latest scientific results in the field.
  • Developing standards, including both regulations (mandatory rules) and official recommendations on how regulations should be applied.
  • Monitoring and analysis of the epidemiological status of communicable diseases in the population, with particular emphasis on diseases covered by the Swedish Communicable Diseases Act.
  • Participating in an extensive international cooperation with international bodies such as the EU and WHO.

The Regions

The regions are responsible for implementing the measures that are necessary to prevent the spread of communicable diseases within their region. The County Medical Officers are independent authorities, and have the operational responsibility for communicable disease control within their region. County Medical Officers also have preventive and supervisory duties in addition to their administrative work.

Other bodies

Other bodies with responsibilities within the prevention and control of communicable diseases include: health care providers, physicians, child health services, environmental health committees, county administrative boards, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, the National Food Agency, and many more.