Primary healthcare in Norway needs improving, says OECD / News / The Foreigner

Primary healthcare in Norway needs improving, says OECD. The Scandinavian country has implemented a number of measures in this sector but certain areas need more focus, an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development assessment shows. Norway is one of the OECD nations with the highest amount of public health spending per capita (9.4% of the GDP). Heart disease mortality rates are 5.3 per 100 hospital admissions – the OECD average is 8.5. Deaths within 30 days following hospital admission for heart attacks in Norway are also deemed to be relatively low, at 4.5%. The average for other OECD countries is 7.9%.

healthcare, norwaymedicine



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Primary healthcare in Norway needs improving, says OECD

Published on Wednesday, 21st May, 2014 at 13:37 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 21st May 2014 at 13:51.

The Scandinavian country has implemented a number of measures in this sector but certain areas need more focus, an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development assessment shows.

A Stethoscope
Things are good and bad in rich country Norway's health service.A Stethoscope
Photo: Huji/Wikimedia Commons


Norway is one of the OECD nations with the highest amount of public health spending per capita (9.4% of the GDP). Heart disease mortality rates are 5.3 per 100 hospital admissions – the OECD average is 8.5.

Deaths within 30 days following hospital admission for heart attacks in Norway are also deemed to be relatively low, at 4.5%. The average for other OECD countries is 7.9%.

Norway set out a strategic vision for its health system through the 2012 ‘Coordination ‘Reform’. The government’s document is called ‘Proper treatment – at the right place and right time’.

At the same time, officials acknowledge the health spending rate has not resulted in a correspondingly high level of health in return.

It is also expected that there will be a higher proportion of people over 80 by 2050, a 9% rise. This increase will be accompanied by more cases of chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, the OECD predicts.

“More people are falling ill, our population is ageing, more people need help for longer periods, more diseases are treatable with new technology, and the queues are lengthening for specialist health care services. These developments are simply not sustainable,” Norwegian health officials write in their 2012 document, urging action.

There are many people still not getting the help they need when they need it, even though it is argued a lot is going well.

“Insufficient coordination is the main reason that our ill elderly as well as people with chronic diseases, substance abuse problems and mental health disorders too easily lose out in Norway’s current health care system.”

The OECD’s new report states that improving primary care systems and co-ordination between health services are some ways Norway could address its changing healthcare needs at a time of an ageing population and shorter hospital stays.

“A series of reforms, such as the recent Coordination Reform, are steps in the right direction, but more needs to be done. Better coordination between levels of government and different parts of the health sector, and involving GPs more closely, would enhance quality of care,” the OECD says. 

Moreover, patient safety also needs more attention. 

“Norway has several patient safety initiatives, but they are mainly focused on hospitals. Primary care could be better included as part of the National Reporting and Learning System within the National Agency for Patient Safety.”

Some of the recommendations the OECD makes in the report are:

  • Develop minimum quality standards, especially for the new primary health units (“Distriktsmedisinsk senter” or “Sykestue” in Norwegian).
  • Introduce an accreditation system for hospitals.
  • Pay greater attention to quality of care for people with mild-to-moderate mental illness. This could be done by strengthening the role of GPs through training and support.
  • More efforts to support patient groups that promote patient involvement in decisions affecting their care.

Norwegian Minister of Health Bent Høie is positive to the report’s thoroughness, commenting that it the Health Service score is very high regarding “on most of the quality indicators.”

“But it also shows we have some challenges, including municipal healthcare services. The government is aware of this and we have already started work on a White Paper on the future of primary care,” he said in a statement.

Last year, the OECD recommended Norway alter its mental healthcare measures.




Published on Wednesday, 21st May, 2014 at 13:37 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 21st May 2014 at 13:51.

This post has the following tags: healthcare, norwaymedicine.





  
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