Healthcare for expats relocating to Norway

Healthcare for expats relocating to Norway

Healthcare for expats relocating to Norway

Norway has scored high in recent surveys as a great all-round destination for expat professionals and their families, but what about the country’s healthcare provisions?

Reassuringly, Norway’s healthcare system is one of the best anywhere on the planet, and is free in most circumstances to those who pay into the country’s Folketrygden social insurance scheme. The healthcare structure is mostly financed by the Norwegian government and is administered by local municipalities. Both public and private services are available, along with related facilities.

Those eligible will get full reimbursement of costs incurred in childbirth, treatments of work-related injuries, and treatments for children under 16 years of age. Parts of your personal healthcare costs will also be covered, although a small co-pay is required for prescription medicines and GP appointments. You’ll need to register as a resident in your local municipality, and if your job in Norway is for a year or longer you’ll be automatically registered with the national health service once you’ve paid your first taxes. If you don’t have access to Norway’s healthcare scheme for whatever reason, you’ll need to get private health insurance.

Registering with a local GP at your nearest public health centre is straightforward, and appointments by phone give easy access. The majority of Norwegian GPs speak good English, but calling ahead and checking before you register is the best idea. A small charge is made and, once you’ve paid over a certain amount in fees, treatment is free for the remainder of the year. All municipalities provide emergency rooms, easily contacted by dialling 116 117, with those with life-threatening issues advised to call 113. In emergency situations, care is free.

Every district in the country has at least one pharmacy open 24/7, and all the usual medications and supplies are easily available. For ‘Blue’ prescriptions given for chronic conditions, patients pay 39 per cent of the actual cost and ‘white’ prescriptions must be paid for in full. All told, the Norwegian system offers first-rate healthcare for expats and citizens alike at reasonable prices should payment be required.

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