Health policy is the most important issue for many voters

health educationHealth education.Photo: pixabay.com

Six out of ten voters say health policy is crucial to which party they will vote for at the election this autumn. This was found by the Health Policy Barometer, an annual survey charting attitudes towards health policy issues.

A majority of 45 % believe Arbeiderpartiet (ArP) will have the best health policy, while Høyre (H) gained the support of 30 %.

Yet many people are not necessarily sure if it matters so much, as 42 % agreed with the statement that it has little impact on health policy who is in government.
Health has for many years been considered one of the three main challenges in society, and the issue has repeatedly topped the list of voter concerns. This year, health is in third place, after immigration/integration and rising unemployment.

Norway is currently at about the data collection center’s (OECD) average when it comes to spending. 9 % of GDP is spent on health care,but that is not enough, according to a large majority of those surveyed. Two out of three believe it should certainly be more.

The government gets only a little better than 3 on the dice for its efforts to create a better health care system. The proportion of people who are positive has fallen slightly since last year, and it is primarily Arp and Fremskrittspartiet (FrP) voters
who pull the scores down.

Most positive are the government’s own voters, and Christian Democratic Party (KrF) voters. People who support Sosialistisk Venstreparti(SV) are the most critical of the government’s work, but these voters are not as concerned with the political issues and health care as the others.
‘We must increasingly ask patients, ‘What is important to you?’, and add that as the basis for the design of health services’, said State Secretary,Lisbeth Normann (H) of the Ministry of Health.

She noted that two out of three Norwegians are in contact with the health care system in the course of a year, either as relatives or due to their own illness. The vast majority – 73 % – are quite, or very, satisfied with it.

9 % said that the experience they had of the health services were quite, or very, poor, while the rest said the contact had been neither
good nor bad.

Those who had been in contact with health services in connection to their own illnesses were more satisfied than those who are dependents.

The elderly are also more satisfied than the younger respondents. In the age group of over 75 years, as many as 88 % said they had received a good experience.

‘It is unclear whether this is because they have received better treatment, if expectations change with age, or future generations have different requirements’, commented the report.
The survey showed that more people than before think they will get the services they need when they get older, and their confidence increases
with age. Yet only half answered that they have large or very great confidence that the public health system will ensure that they receive these
services.

Normann feels reform in health care for the elderly that was recently presented by the government will ensure a stronger feeling of national
responsibility.

‘The reform concerns the basic things that are most often not offered to the elderly, such as food, activity and community, health care and continuity in the services’, she said.

The Health Policy Barometer was conducted for the second consecutive year and the survey will be presented on Tuesday.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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