Telemedicine in Norway

Norway’s health and care system organisation

The health care system is mainly public with some private institutions, specialists and general practitioners. The system is organised at two levels: the municipal and regional level. General practices and social care are organised on the municipal level, and specialist health care on regional/state level, divided into four regional health authorities.

Norway’s health and care system financing

The health and care system in Norway is publicly funded through tax, with a small patient fee. There are some private enterprises and institutions that provide health care, where the patients (or their employers) pay for the health services in full.

National guidelines are provided by the Ministry of Health. Institutions are organised by specialist health services and primary care.

Norway’s telemedicine strategy and legislation

Norway’s national health authority has launched several strategies for electronic cooperation in the health care sector since the late nineties. These plans have also included use of telemedicine and eHealth. A new plan for 2014-2016 is under preparation these days (Nov 2013).

Norway does not have legislation that deals specifically with telemedicine. However, there is legislation, the Personal Health Data Filing System Act (Act 2001-05-18-24), which relates to personal health data filing systems and the processing of personal health data. Article 13 of the Act is a barrier, among other things, to the implementation of electronic cooperation platforms for integrated care. The reason is that employees in different institutions or on different levels in the health care system are not allowed to access (log into) the same electronic health register.