A recent report has painted a gloomy picture of the current GP system and found that a GP shortage could lead to increased health inequality in Norway.
The latest quarterly report from the Norwegian Directorate of Health found that more needed to be done to address problems with the GP system.
“There is a need for further immediate measures with immediate effect and strengthened efforts also in the longer term,” the report stated.
150,000 Norwegians are currently without a GP. The reason for the shortfall is problems with recruitment.
“I am worried about this, and the concern has increased in the last couple of years. So it is important that we manage to prioritise this in the health service today,” Bjørn Guldvog, director of health at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, told broadcaster TV2.
In a survey on Norway’s health system among The Local’s readers, the most common complaint among foreign residents was long waiting times to be given a GP.
The health directorate warned that the most vulnerable patients would be the hardest hit as they don’t have access to or can pay for private healthcare.
“Such a development can, over time, lead to increased social inequality in health, weaken continuity and, in the absence of follow-up, lead to a worsening of illness,” the report found.
The Norwegian Medical Association has previously said that 2.3 billion kroner in funding were required to solve issues with the GP system.