Nursing home discount draws mixed reaction

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Norway’s incoming conservative government is promising a discount for nursing home residents who get placed in double rooms instead of getting a room of their own. The state retirees’ association isn’t impressed, fearing that it will extend delays in securing private rooms for all nursing home residents.

While there’s no charge for hospital care in Norway, there is for nursing home care, based on the resident’s income. There’s been a major effort to provide private rooms for all nursing home residents, and current figures show that 93 percent now get a private room.

Those who still wind up needing to share a room should get a discount, says Bent Høie of the Conservative Party, who’s widely tipped to be Norway’s next health minister when the new Conservatives-led government takes over next week. “Many have to share a room involuntarily,” Høie told newspaper Aftenposten. “Some share a room that was designed for only one person. They shouldn’t have to pay the same amount as someone with a private room.”

Harald Olimb Norman of the retirees’ association Penjonistforbundet is skeptical. “Offering a discount is like tacitly accepting double rooms in practice,” Norman told newspaper Dagsavisen on Saturday. “The government should instead keep working to make sure everyone gets a private room.”

newsinenglish.no staff