Norway has the world’s highest number of doctors and nurses per person

Norway is top of the list of OECD countries with the most doctors and nurses.

Norway has the world's highest number of doctors and nurses per person
Illustration photo: Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash

Data on the number of doctors and nurses working in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) shows Norway to have the highest per capita number of medics of all member states.

The World Economic Forum published the data on its website.

The combined total of doctors and nurses per capita in Norway is higher than in any other country, according to the reported figures.

World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that, in 2018, Norway had 29.16 medical doctors per 10,000 people.

OECD figures have Norway’s numbers at 4.82 doctors per 1,000 people in 2018 (the most recent year for available data) and 17.81 nurses per 1,000 people in the same year.

Combining the two numbers gives Norway the highest per capita number of doctors and nurses of any OECD member country.

The information may be related to the ability of countries to respond effectively to Covid-19, the OECD has noted.

According to the WHO, 40 percent of its member states have fewer than 10 medical doctors per 100,000 people.

The organisation has also said that countries with the highest relative need have a smaller health workforce. For example, Africa has 22 percent of the global burden of the disease but access to only 3 percent of the world’s health workers.

“In countries with fewer doctors and nurses per population, the existing workforce will be even more stretched in their attempts to address the additional demand for care arising from the epidemic,” the OECD meanwhile writes.

A total of 10,374 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Norway since the beginning of the epidemic in the Scandinavian country, with a total 630,903 tests conducted as of August 23rd. 264 deaths with the virus have been registered.

The Norwegian Institute for Public Health estimated earlier this month (August 19th) that 91 percent of the (at that time) 10,055 people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the country have now recovered.

READ ALSO: Norway's coronavirus infections curve now 'on way down'

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EXPLAINED: What Oslo’s easing of Covid-19 restrictions means for you

Most, but not all, of the Norwegian capital's local Covid restrictions have been lifted to fall in line with national coronavirus rules, with new limits on guests at home and new guidance on face masks. Here’s a rundown of what the latest restrictions mean for you.

EXPLAINED: What Oslo's easing of Covid-19 restrictions means for you
Oslo's skyline. Photo by Oscar Daniel Rangel on Unsplash

Covid-19 measures in Oslo have been relaxed, with the majority of local restrictions being replaced with the looser national rules.

The new rules are a mix of steps three and four of the city’s five-step reopening plan and were introduced after the lowest infection numbers since last autumn were recorded in Oslo last week. 

Last week, 239 coronavirus infections were registered in the Norwegian capital. 

“The gradual, controlled opening of Oslo has been a success. Many of the rules that the people of Oslo have been expected to live with are now being removed, and we will essentially live with the same corona rules as people elsewhere in Norway,” Oslo’s Executive Mayor Raymond Johansen said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Not all local restrictions have been lifted however, meaning there are a mix of local and national rules in place. 

Below we’ll take a look at how the measures will affect everyday life in Oslo. 

At home 

The significant change here is that the ban on having more than ten people gathered at home has been lifted completely. Instead, this will be replaced with the national recommendation not to have more than guests. 

So while it will not be recommended to have more than ten guests, it’s not an enforceable rule anymore. 

READ MORE: What happens if you get caught breaking the Covid-19 rules in Norway


The local rules for shopping malls and stores have been tweaked too. There will no longer be any rule that makes face masks mandatory in shops. In addition to this, the official social distancing measure has been halved, to one metre, and the limit on the number of people allowed in shops has been scrapped. 

However, it’s worth noting that some shops may wish to keep some infection control measures in place if they feel it helps keep staff and shoppers safe, so it may be worth bringing a mask along on your next trip to the shops just in case.

Face masks  

The rule on mandatory face masks in public has also been given the axe, with two exceptions. 

You will still need one if you are taking public transport or taking a taxi. 

Masks will no longer be needed in shops, gyms, museums and galleries, indoor swimming pools, spa facilities and hotel facilities such as pools and dining areas. 

Although, some places may still wish to continue with a mask policy, so always remember to have one handy to be sure. 


At indoor public places, such as restaurants, 50 people are allowed in venues without fixed assigned seats and 200 people at events with set, assigned seats.

Outdoors, 200 people can gather in cohorts of three, meaning a potential venue of 600 for places with the space and capacity and where there is fixed designated seating.

Soon, when the government changes its rules for events, up to 5,000 people will be able to gather when there is a seating plan in place, provided venues aren’t operating above 50 percent capacity.  

Up to 20 people can book a table at a restaurant or bar when indoors and 30 people outdoors. 

Alcohol will now be able to be served until midnight rather than 10 pm, and this rule will stay in place until July 4th. The cut-off point will remain in place even if national rules change and allow alcohol to be served later. 

Sports, leisure and entertainment 

Bingo halls, bowling alleys, arcades, playgrounds can now reopen.

Oslo’s numbers cap on the people allowed in gyms, museums, galleries, and indoor pools has been lifted. 

Now, 20 people can work out, go for a swim, or take in some art indoors, and up to 30 can do so outdoors. 


Restrictions for schools and kindergartens haven’t changed, however. 

This means that schools and kindergartens in Oslo will remain at yellow level. 

Yellow level means that full class sizes are allowed, but mixing between classes must be kept to a minimum. Yellow level also means increased cleaning and hygiene measures are also in place. 

You can read more about yellow level here

Adult education and university are at red level, which means digital learning where possible and minimal contact between students and teachers. 

You can read more on red level here


People are still required to work from home where possible until July 4th. 

Executive mayor Johansen has previously said the home office would be one of the last pandemic measures to go, meaning it could be here for a while longer.