The best guide for a successful relocation
The healthcare system in Norway has both public and private medical services and facilities. Folketrydgen (Norwegian National Insurance Scheme or NIS) is the public health service financed by taxes and the Norwegian government and administered by each county (kommune). Every citizen and resident of Norway is entitled to healthcare. The quality of public healthcare in Norway is high. Most communities have a public medical clinic (helsesenter) where residents of the area can make an appointment to see a doctor.
Access to Norwegian healthcare
Once you are in the Norwegian social system, you can choose a doctor within the public system (this can be done online) and change that doctor up to two times in one year. Once you have a doctor, just call to make an appointment. Most doctors’ offices are open from 8am to 5pm.
Once at the office, just sit and wait to be called. You often don’t need to see the receptionist first to fill out paperwork. Payment is taken care of once the examination is concluded. This can be done by credit card, or you can be billed at home, though this sometimes costs more.
You have to visit your general practitioner in order to get a reference to a specialist. You may have to wait for a couple of weeks to see a doctor unless you have an emergency, and up to several months to see a specialist.
What does it cost?
Medical services are not entirely free, but highly subsidised by the government. You will be expected to pay a fee after any visit, but once you reach a specific limit, you are entitled to a “free card” (frikort) and you will not have to pay any more within that calendar year. You just have to show your “free card” when you visit any medical facility in Oslo. If you choose to go to a private practice, fees are higher and you will not be able to use a “free card”. Some people prefer to go private in order to avoid waits or to see specific specialists.
Private healthcare in Oslo
Private healthcare is available in Oslo. Many Norwegian doctors have their own private practices, or work in private clinics and hospitals. They are listed in the Gule Sider (Yellow Pages) under Leger – Almenn praksis. You can call any of these and make an appointment. These private doctors are not covered under the state-run health system and are therefore more expensive. The wait is shorter and some are better than others – quality is not guaranteed.
The number of private medical clinics in Oslo is growing. Emergency walk-in services are available as well as scheduled appointments for general practitioners and specialists. Several of these clinics have specialised departments.
Some private clinics:
- Red Cross Klinikk - Fredrik Stangsgt. 11/13, 0264 Oslo, tel: 22 54 11 11
- Oslo Akutten - Nedre Vollgt. 8, 0158 Oslo, tel: 22 41 24 40
- Volvat Medisinske Senter - Borgenvn. 2A, 0303 Oslo, tel: 22 95 75 00
- Klinikk 8 - Hjalmar Brantingsvei 8, 0581 Oslo, tel: 22 65 06 10
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