OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

The Norwegian Health Care System

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” ...


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