Why the Health Minister warned Norway is heading for a two-tier health system

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Why the Health Minister warned Norway is heading for a two-tier health system
Norway's health minister has warned that a two-tier health system could form. Pictured is a stethoscope. Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash

Norwegian Minister of Health and Social Care Ingvild Kjerkol has warned that the current GP crisis means that Norway could be heading for a two-tiered health system where the poorest are left behind.


In recent years, Norway has struggled to attract enough general practitioners leaving many residents on a waiting list or without a primary doctor. 

Around 175,000 people in Norway are without a GP, according to government estimates released earlier this year. The government has previously launched an expert review of the current GP system in Norway. 

The number of those without a regular doctor had led Health and Social Care Minister Ingvild Kjerkol to warn that Norway could be heading towards a two-tiered system if proper action isn't taken. 


"We fear that the unstable situation in the GP system could lead to a division of the healthcare system into two, where those with the most money get the best help. That is why the scheme is our top priority in the 2023 budget," she told the newspaper Addressavisen when asked about the current crisis. 

As the number of those without a doctor has increased the prominence of private healthcare providers such as Dr Droppin and Aleris has grown. 

She added that the government and Health Ministry would step up and take action to prevent a two-tiered system from forming.

"We must take responsibility for solving the crisis. I understand that people are impatient. So are we. We work along several tracks to counteract a development where the individual's wallet provides faster or better health care," she told the newspaper. 

In its budget for 2023, the government announced funding to ensure that it retrains and hires more GPs to try and ease the crisis.  


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