Guaranteed equal access to new treatment

Health Minister Bent Høie New TreatmentNorwegian Minister of Health, Bent Høie (Conservatives). Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

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Patients to be guaranteed equal access to new treatment

Patients must have equal access to new treatment methods in the Norwegian health service. The Norwegian Government proposes to legislate this.


“We have one of the best health services in the world. The medical possibilities are great and are growing ever larger. But the possibilities exceed the resources, even in a rich country like ours. Therefore, we need to prioritize and have to ensure that everyone gets access to the new treatment methods we use. We ensure a fair and equal offer for all Norwegian patients with this bill,” Minister of Health, Bent Høie, states.

A system was established in 2013 for introducing new methods in the specialist health service. The aim was to ensure equal access to treatment methods. It is this system the Norwegian Government now proposes to legislate.

Before the introduction of the system for new methods, it was mainly the individual health enterprise or the individual hospital department who decided which treatment methods should be used.

“It led to different access to treatment for the patients. With the system for new methods, we ensured equal treatment. Now we get this fixed in the form of the law and clarify the health enterprises’ responsibility,” Bent Høie continues.

The Government also proposes that the prioritization criteria in the health service be legislated.

All treatment must be assessed against the severity criterion, the utility criterion and the resource criterion. The more serious the disease is, and the greater the benefit the treatment has, the more resource use can be accepted.

The proposals for amendments to the specialist Health Service Act are in line with the proposals in the report on prioritisation that a majority of the Norwegian Parliament has endorsed.

The proposal can be found here.


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