After 20 years, the number of complaints to the Norwegian System of Patient Injury Compensation (pasientskadeerstatning – NPE) quadrupled. By this year’s end, the figure will probably be over 6,000. There were also increases in the compensation, both overall and per claim.
Those who do not agree with NPE decisions can advance to Health Appeals, formerly known as the Patient Complaints Board.
In this department, the processing time increased significantly, in parallel with several complaints of mishandling of treatment, wrote Aftenposten. In 2003, the Tribunal spent an average of 5.5 months on an issue, while statistics show that they now take an average of 18 months. In reality, the situation is even worse than these figures suggest.
‘Because we now have many inexperienced officers, difficult issues pile up. The real processing time is currently around 22 months, which we inform complainants about by letter. This is just an average, some cases may take even longer’, said director, Rose-Marie Christiansen, of Health Appeal.
At NPE, processing time remained stable at around two years on average.
About one third of complaints are upheld at the first instance. They receive an average of 750,000 in damages, and total payouts exceed 1 billion per year.
Many of those who complain about the size of the compensation, end up getting more. In 2012, every fifth appeal led to a higher payout. This year, it is estimated that half of appeals have led to an increased payout.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today