Medical Association: – Insurance leads to over treatment

Surgery Medical AssociationSurgery, Photo:

Medical Association: – Insurance can lead to over treatment

The Norwegian Society for General Medicine warns that private health insurance can provide quick solutions that can lead to problems later on.


The association organizes general practitioners and specialists in general medicine and is attached to the Norwegian Medical Association. It is led by Petter Brelin. Brelin reports to Aftenposten that insurance schemes can lead to unnecessary operations.

Currently twelve times as many have private health insurance in Norway compared to ten years ago. More than half a million Norwegians have such an insurance.

– It may sound like a good thing that less serious injuries are diagnosed and operated faster. That is not always the case, Brelin says.

He warns that the insurance industry helps to create the impression that quick treatment through access to private clinics provides a better service than what the public offers.

More operations

– For example, most cases of prolepses will disappear by themselves. It requires a smart approach from the healthcare system, taking the time to wait and see if it is disappearing due to proper training, rather than operating immediately. Surgical procedures always involve a risk of complications and thereby far more complicated back pain in the longer term, Brelin says.

He asks whether it contributes to the right approach that the one who takes the decision to operate also makes a profit.

– We notice that operations are performed more often privately, he says.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today