Revised National Budget:

Waiting times to be reduced – the government strengthens hospitals with NOK 2 billion

The government wants to reverse the trend and reduce hospital waiting times. This is why it is proposing total additional funding of NOK 2 billion for hospitals in its revised national budget.

‘My most important task as Minister of Health and Care Services is to ensure that people across the country can be sure they’ll receive high quality healthcare when they need it. Our welfare state should be the best health insurance there is in Norway. This is why the government is proposing to bolster hospitals with an additional NOK 2 billion in order to reduce waiting times,’ says Jan Christian Vestre, Minister of Health and Care Services.

This week, the government has also launched its Waiting Times Promise (in Norwegian) together with the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees, the Norwegian Nurses Organisation, the Norwegian Medical Association, Delta, the Norwegian Psychological Association, Spekter, Virke, NHO Geneo and Norway’s four regional health authorities. By means of a binding partnership, we will reverse the trend before the end of this year through evening and weekend opening hours at outpatient clinics, improving working time arrangements and providing more full-time positions, as well as more appropriate distribution of work and tasks and improved cooperation.

The funding proposed in the revised national budget will facilitate an extra effort during 2024 which will be directed at initiatives that can quickly help to bring waiting times under control, while also providing lasting improvement to hospital finances.

The proposal from the government includes:

  • NOK 400 million to fund initiatives that will quickly and efficiently lead to permanent reductions in hospital waiting times.
  • NOK 1,150 million as a permanent increase to the basic funding package to better allow hospitals to deliver and meet expectations, including the goal of reducing waiting times.
  • NOK 100 million for hospitals to allow them to enhance capacity in secure psychiatric care.
  • NOK 100 million as a permanent increase to funding for recruitment and cooperation which will improve cooperation between hospitals and municipalities, and help to reduce waiting times.
  • NOK 250 million to the Northern Norway Regional Health Authority for recruitment, cooperation and shorter waiting times, and to allow the ongoing provision of emergency care at Lofoten and Narvik Hospitals, as well as funding day activity services in Alta.
Regional Health Authority Sum
South-Easthern Norway Regional Health Authority 969
Western Norway Regional Health Authority 339
Central Norway Regional Health Authority 251
Northern Norway Regional Health Authority 452
Sum 2,000