Municipality level accessibility to specialized health care in Norway
HERO WP 2010/7: Author: Lafkiri, K., Department of Health Management and Health Economics, University of Oslo (PDF)
In the Norwegian health care system equal distribution and access to care regardless of social status, gender, ethnicity and area of living has been raised as an important issue. This paper studies the extent to which the principle of “equal access” to specialized health care is maintained in the specialist health care delivery system of Norway. Access to specialized health care in this study is measured as a distance weighted form of the ratio “per head specialized health care” for each municipality and includes rich information on the capacity of specialist health care and the distance from residence to the hospital and private specialist care.
We find inequality of access to specialist health care revealing that the capital Oslo has the best access to specialist health care and the residents of the northern- and easternmost county of Norway (Finnmark county) has the worst access. We consider this study to be helpful in identifying how equitable specialized health care are distributed and in developing future health policies.