Sunday, January 16

The mother of small children gets up at 04.30 and has to work almost 70 hours a week

The doctors in Stjørdal municipality find it unjustifiable to continue like this for longer. The state administrator in Trøndelag has been notified. Now they want to notify the rest of Health Norway and Minister of Health Ingvild Kjerkol – who also has a home address in Stjørdal.

Kjerkol and the Labor Party were critical of what the previous government did to save the GP scheme when they were in opposition. But what they do now when they are in position does not impress GP Kjersti Ulriksen at Stjørdal.

Should have normal work week

When Ulriksen started working a year and a half ago, she was envisioned a working week of 37.5 hours, and envisioned working extra hard in a start-up phase – to get into it.

– I set the alarm at 04.30, and three days a week I start the day with a jog, me must stay in shape to do this job. At the same time I will be the mother of my two children of five and three and a half.

EARLYBIRD: Kjersti Ulriksen forces herself to run three times a week, if she is to keep her job as a regular doctor, she must train. Photo: Private

Ulriksen has long since entered the job, and has long since realized that this he normal.

UP 04.30: The alarm clock at the Ulriksen family's home rings before the rooster crows.  The work tasks are not done without the morning work.  Photo: Private

UP 04.30: The alarm clock at the Ulriksen family’s home rings before the rooster crows. The work tasks are not done without the morning work. Photo: Private

– I have patients during the day, but then I have to go home to be there for my children in the afternoon. It might be an hour mum time, before I hurry on to catch up on the evening session. A number of blood test results must be reviewed, it may be cancer tests that need to be checked, and X-rays are examined – ie cases that can not wait, Ulriksen believes.

She finishes at 9 pm. Then it’s time to get to bed.

Deterioration last two years

– We have seen increasing concern about the GP scheme, and experience that there has been a deterioration in the last two years, says assistant county doctor Kristine Asmervik to Adresseavisen.

The newspaper, which wrote about this case first, writes that the State Administrator in Trøndelag has received several reports of concern about the GP situation in several municipalities.

One of the reports of concern came from Kjersti Ulriksen in Stjørdal municipality.

– This is no longer sound in terms of health, which is why I sent a report of concern to the State Administrator. I can no longer take responsibility for the medical safety on my patient list. This is indefensible!

– Why has it become like that?

– It is a complex explanation, it consists of several parts. One thing is that we have a more alert population, who read up on their health situation, and they may demand more. Developments in technology and medicine also mean that there are more treatment options. Then there is another point, the collaboration reform was introduced and it put further pressure on the primary health care service. The tasks have become many more.

Ulriksen does not know how long she can hold on to this, but she knows that her husband must be captain at home to keep it all afloat.

The man saves family life

– I leave it to my husband to take care of the housework, look after the children, drive them to the kindergarten and pick them up. I get to give them a hug in the morning, and have afternoon time with them until 19. Then it’s on again.

THE HUSBAND CAPTAIN AT HOME: Kjersti Ulriksen acknowledges that family life is kept afloat with the help of her husband, who takes care of children and cooking.  They have two cubs of three and a half and five years.  Photo: Jan Arne Austad / TV 2

THE HUSBAND CAPTAIN AT HOME: Kjersti Ulriksen acknowledges that family life is kept afloat with the help of her husband, who takes care of children and cooking. They have two cubs of three and a half and five years. Photo: Jan Arne Austad / TV 2

60-70 hours working week takes on. So she has through several meetings asked to have fewer patients on her list. Basically, each GP has a thousand patients. Recently, two hundred of her list were deleted. And then she wonders if these get a GP at all. As all Norwegian citizens are entitled to.

NOW THEY MUST DELIVER!  Ulriksen is very impatient, she perceived that the new government should focus on GPs.  It has not happened, she believes.  Photo: Heidi Venæs / TV2

NOW THEY MUST DELIVER! Ulriksen is very impatient, she perceived that the new government should focus on GPs. It has not happened, she believes. Photo: Heidi Venæs / TV2

In the eight years with the Solberg government, Ulriksen felt that the work with the GP scheme was downgraded.

– But I do not think at all that the new government has delivered! The Støre government is not doing its job, I have heard Minister of Health Ingvild Kjerkol come up with many established phrases; but that’s not what we need.

Ulriksen points out that the country needs many new GP positions, and that the basic subsidy must be increased as the costs of office maintenance have increased.

– We behind the Stjørdal uprising are now sending a strong signal to Kjerkol and Støre about the situation we are in. The GPs are on their knees. It’s urgent!

GP Rebellion 2.0

The GP uprising in 2017 started in Trøndelag. The GP revolt 2.0 also starts in Trøndelag. Assistant county doctor Kristine Asmervik tells Adresseavisen that more and more municipalities in Trøndelag are reporting major difficulties in recruiting GPs.

Kjersti Ulriksen’s employer, municipal manager for welfare in Stjørdal municipality, says that they are taking action with a view to adapting the work situation on the basis of the Working Environment Act.

– We delete 200 names from Ulriksen’s patient list, and I can also say that we are very concerned about the GP scheme in general, says Trude Wikdahl. She emphasizes that it is national authorities that must now address the scheme that Wikdahl believes is underfinanced.

IS HAPPELESSLY FAR AFTER: Mayor of Stjørdal, Ivar VIgdenes (Sp) believes the Solberg government could have implemented measures much earlier.  Photo: Heidi Venæs / TV 2

IS HAPPELESSLY FAR AFTER: Mayor of Stjørdal, Ivar VIgdenes (Sp) believes the Solberg government could have implemented measures much earlier. Photo: Heidi Venæs / TV 2

The mayor of Stjørdal, Ivar Vigdenes (Center Party) is also concerned about the situation the municipality-Norway has ended up in.

– This does not only apply to Stjørdal, the problem is that there is a lack of people to fill the positions. We are limited by the number of medical graduates, only national authorities can solve this challenge.

Vigdenes describes it as one mystery that the previous government for eight years failed to establish more study places in medical studies.

– Even if we start now, it will still take six years before new doctors are ready.

Worried

State Secretary Ole Henrik Krat Bjørkholt (Labor Party) in the Ministry of Health tells TV 2 that the government is very concerned about the situation in the GP scheme.

– We have a big problem and the government is very worried.

For the Støre government, mental health and the GP scheme have been identified as the two most important areas. And in opposition, the Solberg government often received criticism when it came to the GP scheme.

– We control the Solberg government’s budget, but we were granted an extra NOK 100 million in the additional bill, Bjørkholt explains.

Reference-www.tv2.no

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