Norway’s Health Minister Kjerkol: The cooperation between the health service and the police shall be evaluated

Ingvild KjerkolPhoto: Terje Bendiksby / NTB
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Both the incidents at Kongsberg and Bislett have a common element in mental health care. The cooperation between the health service and the police will now be evaluated.

The 38-year-old man charged with the Kongsberg murders was in and out of the health service for many years. The 33-year-old who was shot and killed on Tuesday at Bislett in Oslo was placed in compulsory mental health care after a knife attack in 2019. 

The incident happened the day after the man was released on short leave from a health institution.

“On a general basis, also based on the incident at Kongsberg, I have had a close dialogue with my colleague, the Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl. We have started looking at how the police and the health service work together,” Minister of Health Ingvild Kjerkol (AP) told the newspaper Dagbladet.

Law amended

In 2017, an amendment to the law made it more difficult to forcibly admit mentally ill people. Now Kjerkol and Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl (SP) are taking the initiative to evaluate how this change in the law has worked.

Kjerkol noted that the government wants to increase the bed capacity in psychiatry.

Forensic psychiatrist Randi Rosenqvist was an expert in the criminal case against the 33-year-old who was shot and killed on Tuesday. She is strongly critical of the quality of psychiatric health services in Norway.

“For several years, there has been a push for the least possible coercion in psychiatry, and the quality of a hospital is measured by how few people are forcibly admitted or how much time patients spend in the hospital. I think these are completely wrong parameters for measuring the quality of psychiatry,” Rosenqvist told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Wednesday morning.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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