The health care system in Norway ensures free basic medical services to all citizens and those registered as residents or working in Norway. It is supported by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS)– the public health service that guarantees everybody a basic level of welfare.
Foreign students are automatically included in this scheme if their period of study exceeds one year.
The Norwegian health care system has both public and private medical services and facilities, and it is available to all citizens who are registered as long-term residents.
Public health care is basically free and is supported by the Government through the tax income scheme, while private sector health care is usually supported by patient fees.
The NIS guarantees everybody a basic level of welfare and covers regular medical consultation (there is a nominal fee that is paid by the patient), medical emergency and hospitalization.
Anyone who is living and working in Norway is required to contribute through the income tax system to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS).
Citizens from both EU/EEA and NON EU/EEA countries become compulsory members of NIS when they are registered as working in Norway and, therefore, they benefit from free basic medical services from their first day of work.
In cases when a person works in Norway for less than 12 months, different rules apply according to applicant’s nationality.
Nationals from EU/EEA countries have to bring the European Health Insurance Card to cover the medical expenses, while nationals outside the EU/EEA countries have to bring proof of private health insurance (or private health coverage).
All the students in Norway are ensured of free basic medical services if certain prerequisites are met. These vary, depending on nationality and the period of stay in the country. Students for a period of study exceeding one year became insured under the NIS, regardless of their country of origin.
If the period of study is less than 1 year, different rules apply, as presented below.
Students from this category will not become members of NIS. However, they are entitled to health care services with the same conditions as Norwegian residents and benefit from free medical emergency services and free hospitalization.
Other medical expenses, such as medicines or medical tests, are not covered, but these expenses can be refunded with social security coverage from the students’ country, such as The European Health Insurance Card .
Students from this category will not become members of NIS and are not entitled to medical services with the same conditions as Norwegian residents.
In this case, they can apply for voluntary membership that entitles them to benefit from health services on an equal basis with other Norwegians residents.
For medicines, tests or other medical expenses they will have to bring medical insurance from their country in order to get refunds for the received services.
Prescription drugs can be free or subsidized, depending on the group of drugs purchased. The white class is the group that is entirely free, while the blue class is subsidized.
Hospitalization and emergency medical services are free, along with any treatments and examinations related to a pregnancy.
Consultations at general practitioners (GP) involve the patient’s charge: the typical fee is 136 NOK during the office hours and 229 NOK for an evening appointment.
Costs related to visits to specialists, dental care and radiology tests are entirely supported by the patients.
Transport to the hospital that is not an emergency it is also supported by the patient.
People who suffer from special chronic diseases are exempted from these conditions.
Children under the age of 18 benefit from free dental care and psychological help, while children under the age of 12 do not have to pay for any kind of medical service.
Every person studying or working in Norway can register with a GP (general practitioner) as long as he or she has the Norwegian identity number.
GPs prescribe medicines and provide referral to specialists or hospitalization, if necessary.
A list of local GPs is sent along with the Norwegian identity number so that the person may register with a doctor.
A part of the cost of visits at GPs is supported by the patient and the national insurance scheme (NIS) pays the remaining cost.
A Health Insurance receipt card is issued at the first visit to a GP. This card exempts the patient for the costs exceeding 1780 NOK .
The card can be used to pay for medicines or for asking refunds from the student welfare organization (that is SiB in Bergen ) if the patient is a student.
Dental care in Norway is run mainly through the private sector, thus it involves high costs. Youths under the age of 20, the mentally handicapped and old age pensioners receive free dental medical services.
Tips for students in Bergen: University of Bergen, Department of Clinical Dentistry provides dentistry care for students at lower prices.
Emergency care or Legevakt is provided at the emergency room of the hospitals and it can be used either when it is referred by a GP, or when immediate attention is needed.
Contact information: Legevakten, Lars Hilles gate 30, 5008 Bergen, phone 55 32 11 20
In the case that an emergency health problem occurs, 113 is the number for the ambulance.
Pharmacies in Norway sell prescription and non-prescription drugs, cosmetics and products for children and are available throughout the country. The on duty pharmacy in Bergen is Apoteket Nordstjernen.
Contact information: Stromgaten 8, Bergen Telephone: +47 55 21 83 84