The health care system in Norway is organized in three levels: local, regional, and national. The local level is represented by 434 municipalities; each municipality is responsible for providing all the services under primary health care to their population. The regional level has the responsibility for specialist health care and is represented by five regions. The national level is responsible for health care overall and is managed by the Ministry of Health and Care Services. (1)
Primary care is mainly publicly provided and has as its’ general aim the improvement of the general health of the population and the treatment of health problems that do not require hospitalization. Each of the 434 municipalities decide individually how to best serve their particular population and are responsible for the provision and funding of primary health care. Areas that are included in primary health care are promotion of health and prevention of illness, general medical treatment, and nursing care. At this level general practitioners provide basic health care and act as gatekeepers for any specialty service. Every Norwegian is given the right to choose one practitioner as their primary care provider. After choosing, they are required to seek care from this provider only; however, they have the right to change practitioners twice a year. Another right includes the freedom to seek a second opinion from another general practitione...
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Johnsen JR. Health System in Transition: Norway. Coenhagen, WHO Regional Office for Europe on behalf of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, 2006. www.euro.who.int/Document/E88821.pdf
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