More than 175,000 residents are currently without a GP in Norway, the government said in a statement on Thursday as it announced a broad-ranging expert review of national GP services.
The objective of the expert committee will be to provide specific recommendations on how the GP system can be improved so that all residents have a permanent GP. The system should also be made sustainable, the government statement said.
“The current action plan (to improve the GP system) has several good measures, but they have not had the desired effect. So we have to think again, and we have to take new measures. We cannot continue on the same track and hope that the situation will resolve itself over time,” Minister of Health and Care Ingvild Kjerkol said in the statement.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said next year’s budget would include more funding for the GP scheme.
“We are working in top gear to find solutions for the GP system and take the crisis with the utmost seriousness,” Støre said.
Part of the expert committee’s work will be to develop proposals for how the GP system should be funded and organised.
Problems faced by the national GP service are mounting, the government recognised in the statement. These include a lack of young doctors signing up to the GP programme, high workloads for existing GPs and recruitment problems at municipal level.
Being left on a GP waiting system and struggling to get an appointment were two common issues mentioned by The Local’s readers in a recent survey on the Norwegian healthcare system.