The Norwegian Health Care System Essay

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The health care system of Norway is committed to providing health care services for all citizens regardless of income and to the principle of equal access to services. Accordingly, the health status of Norwegians is one of the best in the world, ranking much higher than that of the United States. 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 …show more content…
Hospitals, mental health institutions, drug rehabilitation programs, and such services as laboratory and radiology are provided by the regional authorities. Each region has an enterprise that is owned by the state and is fully responsible for providing specialized health care to that regions’ inhabitants. Nationally, Norway’s parliament serves as the political decision-making body for health care. They are responsible for planning and subsidizing the education of health personnel, they develop and implement national health policies, and they are responsible for the funding of national health care. The Norwegian health care system is primarily funded by taxes but is supplemented by state grants and some user charges. National Insurance Scheme (NIS) was created in 1967 by the Norwegian government. It is a universal, tax-funded, single payer health system that covers 100 percent of the Norwegian citizens and residents, unless they opt out of it. The health status of the Norwegian population is considered one of the best in the world; yet, in 2003 Norway only spent 10.3% of their gross domestic product on health care. (4) The United States spends a much higher percent of our gross domestic product than Norway, yet our life expectancy in the United States is ranked 27th. Norway’s life expectancy is ranked 14th. The difference in spending is felt to be caused by inflated prices for health care services in the United States. (3) As

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