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OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Norway 2014

Raising Standards

image of OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Norway 2014

This book presents a comprehensive review of health care quality in Norway. It finds that Norway has an impressive and comprehensive health system, which is the result of sustained commitment to providing health care for the whole Norwegian population, investment in the health system, and readiness to make changes to drive improvements. On most indicators Norway’s health system appears to be performing well, although there is some room for improvement. There have been a number of significant health care reforms in Norway over the last decade, most recently the Coordination Reform, which took effect in January 2012.

Broadly this is a positive story, but challenges do lie ahead for Norway. Norway is putting in place measures to respond to these challenges, notably with the 2012 Coordination Reform, but still has some way to go before the fruits of such labour are truly felt across the health system. Norway’s ambitious reform agenda must now be balanced by structured efforts ‘on the ground’. Attention should now turn to putting in place appropriate data infrastructures, promoting meaningful engagement between key stakeholders, and by balancing a generous health budget that allows for important investments in developing new structures and services with attention to getting the most out of existing services.

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Executive summary

This report reviews the quality of health care in Norway. It begins by providing an overview of policies and practices aimed at supporting quality of care in Norway (Chapter 1). The report then focuses on three areas that are of particular importance for Norway’s health system at present: the role of primary care physicians (Chapter 2), the shifting of care towards primary care settings and away from the hospital sector (Chapter 3), and mental health care (Chapter 4). In examining these areas, this report examines the quality of care currently provided, seeks to highlight best practices, and provides a series of targeted assessments and recommendations for further improvements to quality of care.

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