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Norway Healthcare

If you or any of your dependants are suddenly taken ill or have an accident during a visit to an EEA country or Switzerland, free or reduced-cost necessary treatment is available – in most cases on production of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Each country has different rules about state medical provision. In some, treatment is free. In many countries you will have to pay part or all of the cost, and then claim a full or partial refund. The EHIC gives access to state-provided medical treatment only and the scheme gives no entitlement to medical repatriation costs, nor does it cover ongoing illnesses of a non-urgent nature, so comprehensive travel insurance is advised.

Note that the EHIC replaces the Form E111, which will no longer be valid after 31 December 2005. Some restrictions apply, depending on your nationality. Please note that Swiss nationals and people who do not have UK, EU or EEA nationality are not covered by the EHIC in Norway.

Public health services are decentralised, and managed by regional health authorities. Most doctors in Norway can speak English. You are allowed to change GPs up to twice in a year, but must register the change with the social security office. There are also some private clinics and hospitals in Norway.

Anyone who is living and working in Norway is required to contribute through the income tax system to the Norwegian Social Insurance Scheme, which covers health insurance. They will be issued with a health card and are entitled to register with a GP on the 'Regular GP Scheme', or to choose another doctor.

The standard of healthcare in Norway is high. Make sure you see a doctor who has a reimbursement arrangement with the National Insurance Administration. This includes most medical practitioners. There is a non-refundable standard fee. Dental treatment is not free, except for children, the elderly and the disabled, for whom free public dental care is provided. Dental treatment can be very expensive in Norway.

Chemists are called Apotek. Many medicines which can be bought over the counter in other countries are only available on prescription in Norway. You will have to pay for most prescribed medicines. However, if you are prescribed medication by a doctor on a blue prescription (generally medication for chronic conditions) you will pay only 36% of the costs, up to a maximum of NOK 360 per prescription. Charges are payable for specialist hospital consultations and out-patient treatment. Normally, a GP will refer you to hospital.

In an emergency, you can get treatment from the nearest public hospital. Hospital in-patient treatment, including necessary medication, is free of charge. More information can be obtained from Folketrygdkontoret for Utenlandersaker (National Office for Social Insurance Abroad), PO Box 8138, Dep 0033, Oslo 1 (tel: 2331 1300).





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