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Information technology strategies for health and social care in Norway


Introduction to national IT strategies for the health and social sectors

Roald Bergstrøm, Vigdis Heimly
218kB, 13 pages, A4
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Introduction to health services in Norway
Norway provides extensive health services and a well-developed social security net. About 35% of the annual Norwegian state budget, or 7-8 % of the gross national budget, is spent on health and social care, making it one of the European countries – and the Nordic country – with the highest level of public spending on health per capita. The health and social care sector in Norway, as in other modern societies, faces significant challenges. Its part of the nation’s GNP is already substantial, and the increasing mean life expectancy and falling birth rates will dramatically increase the future burden. A specific Norwegian challenge is the low population density, the consequences of which include the likelihood that inhabitants might have long travelling distances to medical services, hospitals are scattered and some are small, and not all hospitals can contain every medical discipline.

Norway has 85 hospitals and 4.5 million inhabitants. The hospitals are owned by the central government and are operated as regional health enterprises. Five main regional health enterprises have been established.

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