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The Norwegian Health Care System

Author

Listed:
  • Paul van den Noord
  • Terje Hagen
  • Tor Iversen

Abstract

This paper examines the Norwegian health care system from an economic perspective. While acknowledging the excellent quality of services delivered by the Norwegian health care system, it identifies a number of problem areas, in particular: i) the long waiting lists for hospital admission and lack of medical staff; ii) the marked regional variation in per capita health care expenditure (which cannot be fully explained by demographic factors); and iii) the risks to cost control associated with soft budget constraints and collective wage bargaining of doctors. A series of recent reforms, most importantly a move from block grant to activity-based funding of hospitals, should provide incentives for raising efficiency in health care provision but also risk leading to “treatment inflation” ... Cet article examine le système norvégien de soins de santé d’un point de vue économique. La qualité excellente des services fournis par le système norvégien de soins de santé est reconnue, néanmoins l’article identifie un certain nombre de secteurs à problème, en particulier : i) les longues listes d’attente pour l’admission en hôpital et le manque de personnel médical ; ii) la forte disparité régionale dans les dépenses de soins de santé par habitant (qu’on ne peut pas expliquer totalement par des facteurs démographiques) ; iii) les risques liés à la maîtrise des coûts associés à des contraintes budgétaires faibles et les négociations salariales collectives des médecins. Plusieurs réformes récentes, la plus importante étant le remplacement des dotations globales par un système de financement en fonction de l’activité, devraient fournir des incitations pour accroître l’efficience des services fournis mais risquent aussi de conduire à une “inflation des traitements” ...

Suggested Citation

  • Paul van den Noord & Terje Hagen & Tor Iversen, 1998. "The Norwegian Health Care System," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 198, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:198-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/571585217086
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    Cited by:

    1. Biorn, Erik & Hagen, Terje P. & Iversen, Tor & Magnussen, Jon, 2002. "The Effect of Activity-Based Financing on Hospital Efficiency: A Panel Data Analysis of DEA Efficiency Scores 1992-2000," MPRA Paper 8099, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Di Tommaso, M.L. & Strøm, S. & Sæther, E.M., 2009. "Nurses wanted: Is the job too harsh or is the wage too low?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 748-757, May.
    3. Lopez-Casasnovas, Guillem & Puig-Junoy, Jaume, 2000. "Review of the literature on reference pricing," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 87-123, November.
    4. Aakvik, Arild & Holmas, Tor Helge, 2006. "Access to primary health care and health outcomes: The relationships between GP characteristics and mortality rates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1139-1153, November.
    5. Aakvik, Arild & Holmås, Tor Helge, 2004. "The Relationship Between Economic Conditions, Access to Health Care, and Health Outcomes," Working Papers in Economics 06/04, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    6. Sæther, Erik Magnus, 2009. "Will increased wages increase nurses' working hours in the health care sector?," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2004:7, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    7. Sæther, Erik Magnus, 2009. "Wage Policies for Health Personnel - Essays on the Wage Impact on Hours of Work and Practice Choice," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2005:1, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    8. Iversen, Tor & Kopperud, Gry Stine, 2009. "The impact of accessibility on the use of specialist health care in Norway," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2002:9, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    9. Sæther, Erik Magnus, 2009. "Compensating differentials for nurses," HERO On line Working Paper Series 2004:10, Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme.
    10. Tor Helge Holmås, 2002. "Keeping nurses at work: a duration analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 493-503.
    11. Siciliani, Luigi & Hurst, Jeremy, 2005. "Tackling excessive waiting times for elective surgery: a comparative analysis of policies in 12 OECD countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 201-215, May.
    12. Jon H. Fiva & Torbjørn Hægeland & Marte Rønning, 2009. "Health Status After Cancer. Does It Matter Which Hospital You Belong To?," Discussion Papers 590, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

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