Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yes We Can!

I've heard the good news here in Norway! Yay for Health Care Reform! Of course, I don't know many of the final details of the plan, but I'm sure it will no doubt surpass what we had.

There has been a lot of coverage in the news on the developments, but my favorite article came yesterday in one of the biggest papers (Aftenposten) in Norway.

The article is interviewing two large guys (one in a cowboy hat) in Austin, Texas. The title is "De svelger ikke Obamas helsereform" (They can't swallow Obama's heath reform) Their picture is on the front of the paper. Talk about knowing how to pick 'em. Anyways the article goes on to talk about the Reform and what these people in Texas think. As you can imagine, it doesn't make any sense. At one point, one of the guys talks about how he has had heart problems for two years, can't work, but couldn't qualify for Medicaid because he wasn't "poor" enough. He had to borrow money from friends--but he is still against the Reform. Does that make any sense to anyone? So, you got screwed over, but you don't want things to change...hmm... 

I was talking to the mom about this article, and she said something to the effect of "we, Norwegians, just don't understand that." That is the general consensus here in Norway; they just don't understand why we wouldn't want health reform. Why wouldn't you want everyone to be able to afford care? Why wouldn't you want everyone to be healthy?

Here are some facts about the Norwegian Health Care System.

- Children get free care until the age of 18 (I believe)-- 20 at the Dentist. You don't have to pay a dime (or in this case, a krone!)
- There are set amounts of time you must wait if you need surgery--depending on what you need. For instance, if you need a knee operation, it might take you 3-6 months to have the operation. But, if you need heart surgery, it could take weeks. If you don't get in for your surgery within the time frame they set, you are free to go wherever you want to get the surgery done.
- However, if you are over 80 (around this), you usually don't get treatment for your illnesses--because there are so many younger people who need it.
- I'm pretty sure all they have to pay when they go to the doctor is a co-pay of sorts
- My family has never had a problem getting into the doctor on short notice--or emergency room. The doctor's offices usually leave open a few time slots a day to accommodate those with emergencies. If not, you get in the next day.

Anything else you want to know?


  1. yes. how about you? as a foreigner, do you have health insurance in norway? i can't remember how it worked when we were there studying? now that i plan to make my way over there, i should probably figure out how it all works....


  2. Yep, I have health coverage! I get it automatically because I am working here. That means I have the right to a doctor, medical care, etc. I'm not sure how it worked when we were students either...