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Health Care in Norway
The health care system in Norway has both public and private medical services and facilities.
Norwegian National Insurance Scheme (Folketrydgen)
This is the public health service financed by the Norwegian government and administered by each county (kommune). Most communities have a public medical clinic (helsesenter) where residents of the area may make an appointment to see a doctor. In this system, you always see a general practitioner first, who may refer you to a specialist, if necessary. Special clinics for well-baby care (helsestasjon) are a unique part of this system. At these clinics, children under school age are weighed and measured on a regular basis and given the necessary immunizations. Nurses specializing in well-baby care and child development are available to answer questions and discuss concerns about your child. How to make a doctor's appointment.
Walk-In Emergency Medical Service (Legevakt)
First aid stations (legevakt) are located in most communities to serve those who have a non-life threatening illness or injury and who must be seen by medical personnel immediately. The following public emergency medical service is available in Oslo 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
Storgt. 40, 0182 Oslo, tel: 22 11 80 80
Doctors in Private Practice
Many Norwegian doctors have their own private practices. They are listed in the yellow pages under “Leger – Almenn praksis” (Doctors – General Medicine). You may call any of these doctors in your area and make an appointment.
Private Medical Clinics
Several private medical clinics have been established in Oslo. Emergency walk-in services are available as well as scheduled appointments for both specialists and general practitioners.
Most Norwegian dentists have their own private practices and can be found in the yellow pages under “Tannleger” (Dentists). Children are called in to the kommunal dentist office at age 3. This office is located in a nearby school. Their appointments are sent to you in the mail. Be sure to reply to the card if you are unable to make your appointment. I received a nasty note when I returned from vacation that if I did not take my daughter to her next appointment she would be thrown out of the system. The good news is the Norwegian government pays for your children’s dentistry needs.
Emergency Dental Services in Oslo
One pharmacy (apotek) is always open in each district. A schedule of opening hours can be obtained at any pharmacy or by calling directory assistance, tel: 180. In Oslo Jernbanetorvets Apotek, Jernbanetorget 4 B (across from the Central Railway Station in Oslo), tel: 22 33 69 24 , is open 24 hours a day. Sagene Apotek, Grimstadgt. 21, tel: 22 18 22 00, and Sfinxen Apotek, Bogstadvn. 51, tel: 22 46 34 44 are open until 9:00 p.m. on week nights and until 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. We wish to thank the Fulbright Foundation, Norway, for the information provided above.
Overview of Norway's Social Security and Health Service
Norway has extensive health services and a well-developed social safety net. All those who are legal residents in Norway have a right to economic assistance and other forms of community support during illness, old age or unemployment. About 35% of the state's budget is spent on the Norwegian health and social welfare system. Two laws - the National Insurance Act and the Social Care Act - are the statutory mainstays of Norwegians' social rights. Read more in an article (English) by Målfrid Bolstad found on the Norwegian Government's web site, Odin.
Doctor's Offices - Oslo
O.K., you move to Norway, you get sick, now what? To find the doctor's (lege) office nearest you call your bydel (section of the city) office (listed below). While you are on the phone with the bydel office ask if they will send you a Bydel Guide. It is a local phone book with excellent maps of your area. Armed with the doctor's phone number, just call and make an appointment. If you have sick child she/he will be seen before all other patients. You do not have to pay the doctor for examining your sick child--that luxury is taken care of by the Norwegian government via your tax dollars! Once you arrive at the office just sit down and wait for your doctor to call your name. Unlike the doctors offices in America, you do not see the receptionist first to fill out paperwork. You even pay the doctor directly once the examination is concluded. It is that easy. Most doctor's offices are open from 8:00 to 15:00.