Health Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen is reorganizing health care services in the county of Møre og Romsdal and postponed construction of a new hospital outside Molde, to the relief of residents in Kristiansund who have noisily protested looming cutbacks at their own hospital.
They were among hundreds of protesters outside the Norwegian parliament building last week who demonstrated against reduced services and outright closures of some local hospitals around the country. Strøm-Erichsen faced angry crowds at the demonstration on Monday, and her insistence that health care services would be maintained were all but drowned out.
Now she says it’s “natural” to wait for a re-evaluation of proposals to cut maternity and emergency care services in Kristiansund and consolidate them at a new hospital in Molde. Residents of Molde weren’t pleased but the mayor of Kristiansund was delighted.
“This is one of the greatest days Kristiansund has experienced in many years,” said Per-Kristian Øyen when the health minister’s “re-think” was revealed on Thursday.
Views and News staff