Norway’s heart and lung association has run into serious financial trouble tied to losses on its hospital at Gardermoen. Employees were called into an emergency meeting this week to warn them of cost cutting, postponed investments and a pay freeze.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) referred to the trouble as an “economic crisis,” brought on by a lack of patients at its new LHL (Landsforeningen for hjerte- og lungesyke) Hospital at Gardermoen. LHL secretary general Frode Jahren told DN that it has treated 15,000 patients since it opened a year ago at a cost of NOK 1 billion, but has capacity to treat twice as many.
LHL also ran the acclaimed Feiringklinikken along the southern shore of Lake Mjøsa in Eidsvoll. It has since been made part of the LHL Hospital, which offers exams and treatment of heart and lung problems, surgery, sleep problems and other ailments, with no waiting time.
LHL also has clinics in Bergen and Trondheim. Given its capacity at Gardermoen, and the long waiting lists at Norway’s state hospitals for patients needing pacemakers or other treatment, Jahren is frustrated that state health officials don’t send more patients to LHL.
“We knew the situation in 2019 would be tough and demanding, but it’s showing to be tougher and more demanding tham we thought,” he told DN. Cost-cutting measures proposed are expected to improve results by as much as NOK 242 million over the next year.