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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Pictured is an autumnal fjord setting in Norway
Read about a critical response to proposed changes to Norway's state budget and a GP shortage in today's roundup. Pictured is an autumnal fjord setting in Norway. Photo by Jan Kronies on Unsplash
Find out what's going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local's short roundup of important news. 

Tough budget negotiations lie ahead

Yesterday the government unveiled the proposed changes to the state budget for 2022 it wishes to make, including changes to healthcare, childcare, taxes, among other things. 

But they may find it tough to get the proposal green-lit through parliament as their preferred budget partner, the Socialist Left Party, has been critical of their proposed budget. 

READ MORE: The changes to Norway’s 2022 budget that could impact you

“This is too grey and too small for Norway. There are some measures here, but it’s not a new direction for the country,” Kari Elisabeth Kaski, the fiscal policy spokesperson for the Socialist Left Party, told public broadcaster NRK.

The next few days are’ decisive’ in determining whether and what Covid measures may be required

The extent to whether people comply with Covid-19 recommendations and advice in areas experiencing a spike in Covid-19 will be crucial in determining whether more rigid measures will be implemented locally and nationally, according to Espen Nakstad, assistant health director at the Norwegian Directorate of Health. 

“The degree of compliance will be decisive for what measures may be necessary for the municipalities and possibly regionally and nationally in the next few days,” he explained to VG.

His comments come following a rise in the number of hospital admissions in Norway. On Monday, 198 people had been admitted to hospital with Covid-19, with 49 people in intensive care and 21 on respirators. 

He also indicated that if local advice and recommendations don’t start to have an effect soon, then local regulations could be implemented, followed by national advice and rules. 

GP system on the verge of collapse

As many as 116,000 thousand people in Norway are on a waiting list for a doctor, according to a recent quarterly report from the Norwegian Directorate of Health on the number of those without a fastlege or GP. 

Bernand Holthe, board member of the medical association for Nordland, has told NRK that he believes the current system is on the verge of collapse. 

READ ALSO: How Norway’s health insurance scheme works and the common problems foreigners face

“The GP scheme is on the verge of collapsing because there are too few doctors,” he explained to the public broadcaster. 

He said that GP’s had been given too many tasks and responsibilities, and as a result, the health service is struggling with a doctor shortage. 

1,532 people test positive for Covid-19

On Monday, 1,532 cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Norway, 197 more infections than the same day last week, and over the last seven days, an average of 1,396 people have tested positive for coronavirus. 

The same average last week was 1,029 daily cases. 

In Oslo, 290 new Covid-19 infections have been registered in the last 24 hours. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

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