Charging Patients – managing demand for healthcare visits in Norway
Date and Venue
Tuesday 27 November 2018
Grassmarket Community Project
86 Candlemaker Row
Tor Ingebrigtsen is professor of clinical neuroscience at the University of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway and senior adviser to the CEO at the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) in Tromsø, Norway.
Chaired by Lesley Riddoch, writer and broadcaster
Spending on health in Scotland is proportionally less than in other European nations, and our NHS is often overwhelmed. Last winter delayed discharge of elderly patients led hospitals to cancel scheduled operations and miss A&E targets.
In Norway patients pay to see GPs and need referrals to A&E, and councils, which run hospitals, are charged for bed-blocking. This system was designed to boost doctors’ income, screen out trivial complaints and encourage the creation of more GP practices as well as home adaptations and nursing home places. Iceland, Sweden and Denmark have similar systems.
Previously a Tory MSP raised eyebrows by suggesting that Scotland should copy the Norwegian system for tackling overcrowded hospitals with a tough-sounding combination of cash payments and penalties.
So should Scotland take a leaf from the Norwegian book of tough love and manage demand using charges? Or is charging unlikely to work in the absence of other factors such as the high level of health spending in Norway, greater income equality and a hyper-fit population with a far better diet.
Tor Ingebrigtsen has 20 years’ experience as a clinician, researcher and leader, including 10 years as CEO at the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) in Tromsø, the northernmost university hospital in the world.
Lesley Riddoch, writer and broadcaster chaired this meeting of Nordic Horizons on 27 November 2018 at the Grassmarket Community Project.
It was a very lively meeting and we have provided a link to download Professor Ingebrigtsen’s presentation material. There is also an excellent interview where Lesley Riddoch talks to Tor Ingebrigtsen. Finally, there is an opportunity to view the whole meeting via the Democracy TV YouTube channel.
Vimeo Video Resources
If you are unable to attend the event – Democracy TV are live-streaming the whole event, you can view it here.
After the event, this link will become the archive recording.