Birger Forsberg

Birger Forsberg

Affiliated to Research | Docent
Telephone: +46852483385
Visiting address: Tomtebodavägen 18A, 17177 Stockholm
Postal address: K9 Global folkhälsa, K9 GPH Alfvén, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • Birger C Forsberg, MD, PhD, BSc. Associate Professor of International Health, Department of Global
    Public Health. He is also a practicing specialist in social medicine at a primary health care center in Region Stockholm.

    My experience spans work in more than 25 countries as a staff member with WHO
    1985-1989, a consultant to various international organisations and a
    researcher. I served as a CEO, InDevelop Uppsala AB in 1994-1998, and as such
    was responsible for managing large projects with field staff in nine
    countries under contracts with Sida, EU and others. In 2002-2009 I was a
    regular World Bank consultant, facilitating the interaction between the
    public and private sector in health services in various contexts and
    countries, in particular South Asia.
    My medical specialization is Public Health (socialmedicin in Swedish). I am a
    teacher and researcher in global health at the Department of Global Public
    Health/Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet since 2002.
    I have many years of experience from health care planning and evaluation in
    Swedish health services. In 2012-2018, I was the head of the unit for Health
    Development at the strategic purchaser function in Region Stockholm.
    2018-2022 I was a senior expert in the development of new long term plans for
    health services in Region Stockholm, which covers public health
    and health services for 2.3 million.
    I have been active as a board member in several associations over the years,
    such as the Swedish Association of Social Medicine and the Swedish
    Association for Health Economics (SHEA) (to which I took the initiative).
    I was responsible and "Chair" for the European Public Health Conference (EPH)
    in Stockholm 2017 with some 2000 participants.

    * Docent (Associate Professor), International Health, Karolinska Institutet,
    Stockholm, 4/2012
    * PhD, Medical Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, 9/2007
    * MSc (Public Health), Med Lic. Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, 6/1994
    * Specialist Diploma in Social Medicine/Public Health, National Board of
    Health and Social Welfare, 1/1992
    * Certified Medical Doctor, National Board of Health and Social Welfare,
    * MD, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, 1/1981
    * BSc (Economics, Mathematics), University of Lund, Sweden, 1/1974
    * High School Degree, Katedralskolan, Lund, 6/71


  • My research was originally on infectious diseases, in particular diarrhoeal
    diseases in children, but later broadened to wider health systems issues.
    Since 2001 I have been engaged in work on the role of the private sector in
    health delivery in low income countries, for 7 Years as coordinator of a
    KI/Harvard research programme called Private Sector in Health (PSP). My two
    interests have been combined in for instance looking at the behaviour of
    private drug vendors in management of diarrhoeal diseases in children in
    various countries.
    As a health economist, I have been involved in various projects, currently
    in low-cost surgery in low-income countries. I initiated and organized
    a full-day symposium on the private health care sector in low- and
    middle-income countries at the International Health Economics Association
    (IHEA) World Congress in Beijing in 2009. The symposium was later published
    as a supplement to the journal Health Policy and Planning. The idea was well
    received and similar symposia were then held at the two subsequent IHEA World
    Congresses in 2011 and 2013 resulting in multiple publications.
    The activity has since lived on in conjunction
    with global congresses organized by the leading organization for global
    health systems research, Health Systems Global, every second year.
    Through assignments for the Public Health Agency I got engaged in research
    on control of sexually transmitted diseases in Sweden, a
    work that lead to several publications and two PhD theses by students I
    supervised as main or co-supervisor.
    On the Swedish side I have also been engaged in research projects on testing
    health coaches as a means to reach and support vulnerable groups and more
    recently supporting persons with type II diabetes in immigrant


  • I have been teaching in academics for more than 30 years, primarily at
    Karolinska Institutet but also at the International Maternal and
    Child Maternal Health unit (IMCI) in Uppsala. Among the more prominent roles
    can be mentioned that I lead the course on Health Policy, Management and
    Economics (HPME) in the Master of Global Health Programme at KI for 5 years.
    I have for the last few years been responsible for a two week introductory
    module to Public Health in the Master of Health Policy, Management and
    Economics Programme at LIME. Since 2019 I lead the course on Global Health
    Economics for doctoral students at KI together with Kristi Sidney Annerstedt.
    I teach Health economics regularly in the undergraduate training of doctors
    at KI.
    I wrote a textbook on "Hälso- och sjukvårdsplanering" ("Health care planning" in
    English) together with Hampus Holmer in 2020-2022. It was published by
    Studentlitteratur in 2022.


All other publications



  • Affiliated to Research, Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, 2023-2024

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2012
  • Doctor Of Philosophy, Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, 2007

News from KI

Events from KI