Norwegian health policy aims to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their personal finances and where they live, has access to good health and care services of equal standard.
Health care services are financed by the government, through the National Health Insurance Scheme and with patient charges.
Health care in Norway
As a general rule, anyone residing in Norway is entitled to health care under the National Insurance Scheme, but coverage for services may vary.
If you are employed as an adjunct professor at a Norwegian institution and will be staying in Norway for one or more shorter periods during the course of a year, you are entitled to the same health care coverage as permanent residents of Norway.
- For more information check Helsenorge.no ⇒ Foreigners in Norway
Coverage for individuals employed by a foreign company who are planning a research stay at a Norwegian host institution is to be provided under the social security scheme of their home country or through an insurance policy. The European Health Insurance Card scheme provides proof of coverage for EU/EEA nationals, while citizens of non-EU/EEA countries must have health insurance.
If you are not under an employment contract (in Norway or abroad) but are providing your own funding, a mobility grant or the like, you will normally not be entitled to health care coverage in Norway. You should, therefore, ensure that you have health insurance. You may apply for voluntary membership of the National Insurance Scheme, which may require you to pay national insurance contributions in Norway.
- For more information check: Helsenorge.no ⇒ Foreigners in Norway where you'll find more about health services and rights
- Your main online resource for health related issues is: Helsenorge.no where you'll find more about health services and rights
The general practioner
The majority of people who reside in Norway are entitled to a regular GP. This means that you can have only one doctor to relate to who provides primary and continuing medical care. For more information see:
- Your GP during opening hours
- The out-of-hours medical service on 116 117 when your GP is unavailable and you are unable to wait
- 113 in an emergency
Patient charges and eHealth services
You will have to pay patient charges up to a certain amount for all your health care services in Norway. How this works is explained below. In addition, you must know that Norway is developing its eHealth services rapidly and that these services now include an electronic prescription service and a summary care record.
- For more information regarding patient charge and the exemption card: Helsenorge.no ⇒ Healthcare exemption card
- For more information see: Helsenorge.no ⇒ My prescritions and Kjernejounal
Private health care and other health services
Private health care is common in Norway, even though it accounts for a small part of the total of health care services. Today, there are many private clinics that are not a direct part of the National Insurance Scheme. In addition, health services like dental treatment or visiting an optometrist are private health services normally covered by the patient. There a few special services for children, youth and pregnant women. You'll find information about those in the section about public health centres.
Children and youths up to the age of 20 and pregnant women receive a number of free health services from public health centres and school medical services. These services include check-ups, vaccinations, health information and guidance. The centres also engage in outreach activities. Contact your municipality for more information. Children in Norway are normally vaccinated at public health centres according to a standard vaccination programme.
Health at work
Working conditions are regulated by legislation and agreements, like the collective pay agreement. You'll find more information on that topic on the Labour inspection Authority's web site: Safety and health. It's possbile to submit a self-certification when you get sick. All about that in the next section.
In general, provided that you have been employed for at least two months, you may submit a self-certification for the first three days you are ill and absent from work without any deduction in your salary. Beginning on the fourth day of absence, a doctor’s certificate is required and you will receive sickness benefits from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). If you have been employed for less than two months, a doctor’s certificate is required from the first day of absence. A maximum of four self-certifications for three-day absences (i.e. a total of max. 12 calendar days) is permitted during a 12-month period. A number of research institutions have signed the Agreement on a More Inclusive Working Life (IA Agreement) under which employees are granted up to 24 calendar days of self-certified absence during a 12-month period. For more information see: