New bill proposed for all municipalities to have psychologist

Bent HøieHealth Minister Bent Høie.Photo:

The government wants new legislation to require that all Norwegian municipalities to have a psychologist from 2020. Quicker and better aid is the goal.

– We all have a mental health. Today there is too high a threshold for getting help when you start to have mental health challenges.

We are convinced that if there are psychologists in the municipalities, people will get faster and better aid, and will be able to resolve things in an earlier time frame, said Health and Human Services Bent Høie  to TV2.

The proposal will be presented to Council on Friday morning. Four years ago, the government introduced a subsidy for the recruitment of psychologists in municipalities.

Under the strategic plan it has led to the number of psychologists being increased from 130 in 95 municipalities in 2013 to 377 psychologists in 265 municipalities and districts today. However, many municipalities still do not have a psychologist.

– We are also demanding expertise for a variety of health professional positions in the new bill proposal, says Høie who believes the measure will be especially important for younger people.

From 2018, all municipalities will have a physical therapist, doctor, nurse, midwife and pediatric nurse. From 2020, in addition to the psychologist there will also be a requirement that municipalities should have an occupational therapist and dentist.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today