Nevertheless, approximately 145,000 Norwegian inhabitants are without a GP.
Patients who currently have a GP, but who want to exercise their legal right to change, must also wait.
When GPs are the very front door to the health service for patients, this door can not be locked or first open in three or four months.
I experienced the exchange problem myself when I moved from Oslo to Bergen.
I checked all the doctors and lists in the Bergen area, but it turned out that no one had a vacancy.
At first I gave up and postponed the whole thing, but in the end I found a doctor with a moderate waiting list and applied to change via Helsenorge.no.
In the meantime, I had to use private medical care. This is of course expensive, especially in light of the fact that I as a taxpayer have already paid for my right to a public GP service.
Do not get a doctor’s appointment
It is worse in many small municipalities and districts.
Because these municipalities are unable to fill vacant GP surgeries or recruit new doctors, there are many patients who either do not get a doctor’s appointment at all or have to travel far to gain access to the consultation they are entitled to.
So what are the politicians, the health authorities and the municipalities unable to solve when it comes to the GP scheme?
The government is trying to increase the allocations in the state budget for 2022 by a few hundred million kroner, but both the professional communities and interest groups point out that this medicine is far from sufficient.
GPs ask people with illness to contact
The money appears as drops in the ocean, at the same time as the recruitment to already vacant homes is too poor.
High work pressure
Because if you already have many vacancies in a municipality that no one is applying for, it helps very little on the problem to create even more.
Then one must ask whether the scheme is good enough and what it takes for enough doctors to choose the GP profession, rather than the hospitals, private doctors’ offices and hospitals, the consulting industry, the pharmaceutical industry, etc.
Too many experienced doctors now choose to leave their GP job, partly due to high work pressure, too many administrative tasks and consequently long days.
At the same time as the average age among GPs is starting to get high, many are over 60, which in turn makes retirement rates today and in the future inevitable.
This further strengthens the recruitment challenge. Many vacant GPs do not get applicants among younger doctors.
Many of them are women, partly explained by the fact that medical studies in the last decade have had the most female students.
Long working days that can not be combined with family, children and leisure clearly do not entice.
The country’s GPs are being demoted
This is how many doctor positions with normal working hours, fixed salaries and good pension schemes to a greater extent do for many.
In today’s model, as a GP you have to buy into your own “company”, pay the municipality for patient lists, preferably at a total price from half a million and up to just over a million.
This means that you have to get into debt, and then have corporate and employer responsibilities in addition to the tasks with your own patients and patient administration.
It is not difficult to understand that many doctors refuse to go into this.
So despite the fact that Norway is among the countries in the world that spend the most resources on health and have the most doctors per capita, it seems that our GP scheme goes bankrupt and does not give patients the help we are entitled to through our patient rights.
Large sums of money and even more medical positions can certainly remedy something, but there are many indications that the model itself must be reviewed and renewed.
Solutions that provide a work situation that younger doctors want, perhaps employed as GPs in public doctors’ offices in the municipalities, where they have a fixed salary, 40-hour weeks, less financial risk / debt burden, less personal operational responsibility and fewer administrative tasks.
Of course, these are just examples of possible changes, but the point is that those responsible at various levels should take action. And it should happen quickly.
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