Health services

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Norwegian health care system

In Norway, public health services are generally considered to be well organized and meet top professional standards. 80% of the population rely wholly on these services and do not have a private medical insurance beyond travel insurance.

The public health services are divided into two sectors:

  • Primary health care deals with general health issues and is provided locally by general practitioners and community nurses.
  • Specialised health care provides health services by specialists and hospitals. Appointments with specialists and hospitals require referral from a primary health care provider.

Read more about the Norwegian health care system (legemiddelverket.no).

Finding a doctor

If your stay is temporary

If your stay exceeds six months

Health care outside regular office hours

Specialist treatment

  • If you need treatment by a medical specialist, e.g. cardiologist, ophthalmologist, gynaecologist, contact your regular GP or an other primary health care doctor who will refer you to a specialist.
  • For dental care, see section below.

Hospital treatment

  • You can be referred to a hospital by your regular GP or an other primary health care doctor. If you are referred to a hospital, you can choose which one you would like to be treated at. See Choosing a treatment centre (helsenorge.no) for further information on treatment capabilities at hospitals across the country.
  • In an emergency, you can go to the nearest Emergency Clinic (legevakt). See Oslo Legevakt (oslo.kommune.no) (Norwegian) for more information.

Health insurance

See information provided on the web page Social security and health insurance.

Patient user fee

A patient user fee (egenandel) is required when consulting a doctor. If your patient user fees exceed a certain limit (egenandelstak), you may ask the National Insurance Office for an exemption card (frikort) (helsenorge.no) that entitles you to free health care for the rest of the year.

Therefore, it is important that you keep a record of all your patient payments on a patient user fee receipt card (kvitteringskort for egenandeler). This card is available at doctors and pharmacies. Under the following circumstances medical treatment is free of charge:

  • When you are admitted to hospital and are a member of the National Insurance Scheme, you do not pay for treatment, medication or hospital accommodation.
  • Expectant mothers do not pay for pregnancy check-ups.
  • Children under the age of 12 do not pay any medical user fees, and anyone under the age of 18 who requires psychological help does not have to pay any treatment fees. Fees required for children under the age of 16 may be added to the fees of a parent.

Dental care

  • The Public Dental Care Service provides free services for children up to the age of 20. Dental care for adults is mainly private.
  • For dental emergencies contact Oslo Kommune Tannlegevakt (oslo.kommune.no) (Norwegian), Schweigaardsgate 6, 3rd floor (Galleriet). The clinic can also be contacted by calling 22 67 30 00. 
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Published Nov. 20, 2017 3:24 PM - Last modified Mar. 18, 2020 12:43 PM