Hospital cuts circumcision surgery

operating roomOperating room

Several health regions in Norway now do not offer circumcision. St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim is cutting the offer of circumcision for baby boys.


St. Olav’s has been the hospital in Norway which has done the most circumcisions in Norway. 37 boys were circumcised there in 2015.

Øystein Drivenes, Head of Section for Child Surgery at St. Olav’s Hospital, said the closure of the circumcision offer is purely a capacity issue.

‘We must prioritise cancer, and sick children in front of the circumcision of healthy boys. It is impossible to match these needs’, he told Vårt Land newspaper.

Patients from Helse Nord had previously been referred to Trondheim since no doctor at the Nordland Hospital in Bodø, or the University Hospital of Nord-Norge in Tromsø would perform the proceedure.

Drivenes said that circumcision is a resource-consuming process.
Among other reasons it is because whole families meet up at the department even though they have been told that only one adult can follow the child. It is not advisable to have siblings brought into a department where there are ill, newly operated children. In addition, the process of language problems is complicating issues, even though an interpreter is involved, he said.

Since the 1st of January 2015, Norwegian health care regions have been required to have a circumcision offer. The medical procedure costs NOK 4,000.

The rest is covered by the state. Before the law came into force, it was estimated that approximately 2,000 male children would be circumcised annually, but far fewer had taken advantage of the offer. By 2015, 81 boys were circumcised at public hospitals, while 345 were circumcised at private clinics.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today