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`s charges.
How are the different health care services organised?
How much do I have to pay for health services?
Where do I find a doctor?
How do I get access to a specialist?
Where do I find a hospital?
Where should I go if there is an accident or emergency situation?
Which health services are available for pregnant women?
How do I get medicines?
How do I find a dentist?
Where can I see a psychologist?
Which rules apply at work when I am ill?
Municipalities are responsible for primary health care for all inhabitants. Municipalities organise general practioner services, emergency departments, physiotherapy, public health centres, school medical centres, midwifery services and home nursing care. Municipalities are also responsible for ensuring that dental health care services are available.
Specialist health care services in hospitals or from specialists are organised by the regional health authorities, who ensure that all inhabitants with a permanent address or residence in the health region have access to these services. You need a reference from a general practitioner for specialist health services.
Norwegian health care services are financed by the government, through the National Health Insurance Scheme and with patient`s charges.
As a member of the National Health Insurance Scheme you pay a patient`s charge, which is a fixed part of the actual cost of the public health service.
The patient`s charge (Norw. = Egenandel) is to be paid directly to the health institution where you receive treatment. The typical fee is 136 NOK during office hours and 229 NOK for an evening appointment. The municipial service offices normally charge a higher fee. However, there is a limit of 1980 NOK a year (2012). Children under 12 years do not pay patient`s charge. Read more [in Norwegian]
A a general rule all persons residing in Norway are members of the National Health Insurance Scheme. If you stay temporarly, different rules apply:
- EU/EEA/EFTA nationals can use the European Health insurance card as document that they are entitled to necessary medical treatment during temporary stays.
- Citizens from a non-EU/EEA country working in Norway for less than 3 months should have a private health insurance.
For longer stays you normally become member of the Norwegian National Health Insurance Scheme, either automatically or on a voluntary basis. Read more.
If you reside in Norway and you have a Norwegian ID-number you will be assigned a regular GP (fastlege) by your local NAV office. The GP scheme is voluntary and you can also choose your own GP independently from the public scheme. You will then have to pay a higher patient`s charge.
If your stay in Norway only temporarily and you need medical attention, the municipal service office in the area where you are staying will advise you on which health clinic to contact.
Call your GP beforehand to make an appointment. After the examination you pay the patient`s charge at your GP`s office. If you need medicine, your doctor will give you a presciption which you bring to the pharmacy. Record your expenses on the patient charge card.
Helsenorge.no - the official health portal (available in many languages)
Your need referral from you GP to see a specialist. Coverage of the expenses vary depending on the type of treatment. You pay the patient`s charge directly to the specialist. Not all patient`s charges can be included in the yearly limit of 1780 NOK(2009)
You can get referred to a hospital by your GP. You can choose which hospital you want to go to. Please read more on Free Hospital Choise Norway (in Norwegian). Hospital treatment is free of charge to any member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. However there is a patient`s charge for outpatient treatment and consultations in hospitals.
To call an ambulance in an emergency, dial 113. Accident and emergency departement give treatment to patients who need help immidieatly. You can go directly to the accident and emergency services without calling beforehand.
Pregnancy, childbirth and children
Pregnant women receive all health services free of charge. You attend pregnancy check-ups at your GP or at public health centre. You normally also see a midwife and you can get ultrasound scan for free between the 17th and the 18 th week of pregnancy.
You get referred to a hospital where your will have your child. Mother and child normally stay 2-4 days in hospital after childbirth. There is no patient charge.
Children under 12 years old get medical treatment for free. Public health care centres and school medical centres provide checks, vaccination, parental guidance and information for children up to the age of 20.
Health Directorate - pregnancy [in Norwegian]
You buy medicines in pharmacies. Supermarkets may have limited selection of medicines. Most medicines need to be prescibed from a GP or hospital, but some is freely available.
Dental care for adults over the age of 20 is mainly private, which means you have to pay for your dental treatment. A normal check without need for special treatment typically cost 600-800 NOK. Under 18 year olds are entitled to free public dental treatment. Public dental health services in Norway are organised by the county administrations (fylkeskommuner).
You GP refers you to a psychologist and you will have all the costs, apart from the patient`s charge with the psychologist covered. You are entitled to three hours with the psychologist without referral from your GP. Young people under the age of 18 are entitled to free treatment with a psychologist.
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