Norway is a country in Northern Europe, located on the west-northwestern side of the Scandinavian peninsula. The country shares its borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia and is partly bordered by the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
The country is home to more than 100 fjords (ancient glacial valleys invaded by sea water), almost 50,000 small islands and no less than 2,500 km of coastline. Norway is also home to numerous glaciers, waterfalls and peaks, the highest of which is Mount Galdhopiggen, Scandinavia's highest point at 2,470 meters.
After Iceland and Russia, Norway is the least densely populated country in Europe. It is also the most northerly country in Europe.
Population: 5.379 million in 2020
Area: 385,207 km2
Currency: Norwegian krone
Official languages: Bokmal, Nynorsk, Norwegian, and the Sami languages
Discover how the system works in Norway
The Norwegian healthcare system is excellent and probably among the best in the world. The staff are highly qualified and the infrastructure is modern and well-equipped.
To be covered by Norwegian health insurance, you must be registered in the national register: the Folkeregister. This registration will be automatic if you are working in Norway under a local contract. You will then be registered with the national health insurance scheme (NIS) and entitled to coverage for certain healthcare services (medical consultations, mental health consultations, medication, etc.), in return for a contribution of 8% of your gross salary.
Healthcare formalities for expatriates
European Union citizens can benefit from the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You must apply for this at least 15 days before your departure.
This insurance entitles you to healthcare with the same conditions of reimbursement as those in force in the country. However, once the EHIC share has been deducted, some costs remain payable by the patient.
The average cost of a consultation with a general practitioner is NOK 155 (€16) and NOK 351 (€36) for a consultation with a specialist.
In any case, it is strongly recommended that you take out international health insurance before visiting or moving to Norway in order to benefit from higher reimbursement rates, access to the private healthcare system, and repatriation assistance.
Visiting a doctor
There are around 4.6 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants in Norway, an excellent ratio. If you are resident in Norway, you will be assigned a general practitioner by the state. You will be able to change your GP twice a year on the Helse Norge website.
Medical appointments are free for children under the age of 16.
Being admitted to hospital
If you are hospitalized in a private facility, you will need to show your European Health Insurance Card at the hospital. You will have no fees to pay although you will need to produce a medical referral, unless you are admitted in an emergency.
There are well-stocked pharmacies (apotek) and drugstores throughout the country. Norway has an e-prescription system: after the consultation with the doctor, your prescription is registered on a central database and sent to you electronically, allowing you to pick up your medication at any pharmacy. You may be asked for your identity card when buying prescription medicines at a pharmacy.
Vaccinations to be carried out
There are no compulsory vaccinations for traveling to Norway. It is simply recommended that you are up to date with the universal vaccination schedule (measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, whooping cough, polio, etc.).
If you are staying in a rural or forest area up to 1,500 meters above sea level, between spring and autumn, you may be advised to be vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis. For more information, consult your treating doctor or visit a travelers' vaccination center.
There are no particular health risks to be aware of in Norway. However, remember to comply with the health measures in place to combat coronavirus and find out about the rules in force in the country (vaccination, wearing a mask, preventive behaviors, etc. before you leave).
Good to know
Emergency services and useful numbers:
Fire service: 110
Emergencies: 116 117
Official name: Kingdom of Norway Main cities: Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Fredrikstad, Tromsø, Drammen... Type of state: Constitutional monarchy Capital: Oslo
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