Small protest party wins seat in Parliament

A small party formed just a few months with the sole purpose of getting the state to build a hospital in the northern city of Alta managed to win a seat in Parliament in Monday’s election. The party’s founder was as surprised as anyone. Irene Ojala started gathering signatures for her prospective party, called Pasientfokus […]

Norway flunked in preparedness

A professor emeritus at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim has unleashed a torrent of criticism against both state and local Norwegian authorities. Dr Sven Erik Gisvold claims they have utterly failed in preparedness for an epidemic, and he’s not alone in his complaints. Gisvold, who’s headed the anesthesiology department at St […]

WHO virus study starts in Norway

Health Minister Bent Høie announced Friday afternoon that Norway is the first country to take part in a major international study that will test promising treatment methods for patients ill with the Corona virus. The study is being coordinated by the UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO). Treatment of the study’s first patient was to begin […]

Health minister faced a grilling

The Conservatives’ Bent Høie has ranked as Norway’s longest-serving health minister, but was told in Parliament Tuesday that public confidence in his efforts to battle the Corona virus is “fragile.” Complaints have been rising that health authorities lack a united front, meaning that measures aimed at halting the spread of the virus vary from region […]

As Corona spreads, shortages arise

Questions continue to fly over how well-prepared Norwegian hospitals and public health services have really been for a public health emergency like the Corona virus. As it continues to spread around the country, shortages of protective clothing, equipment and even testing capacity “can cause considerable problems,” admits state health director Dr Bjørn Guldvog. “This is […]

Health minister settles hospital conflict

A long-running conflict over where a new hospital in Nordland County would be built and others shut down, was finally settled this week. Health Minister Bent Høie decided that the new hospital for the Helgeland region would be built in Sandnessjøen, and an existing hospital at Mo i Rana would remain open as well. It […]

Ousted hospital boss paid to leave

UPDATED: Criticism was flying this week after another top public official had to resign amidst great conflict but nonetheless quickly was granted another public sector job with a big paycheck. This time the man in question is Dr Bjørn Erikstein, who resigned under pressure Monday as director of the Oslo University Hospitals (OUS) and ultimately […]

Hospital shutdown meets more protests

A decision by regional health authorities to eventually shut down Norway’s largest hospital, Ullevål in Oslo, and split its functions between two new facilities has angered Ullevål employees and others who’ve opposed the plan for years. As calls went out to fire the director of the Oslo University Hospitals including Ullevål, others believe it is […]

Low-paid hospital staff go out on strike

Mediation broke down during the night between hospital administrators and unions representing mostly non-medical hospital personnel who’ve been seeking better pensions. The unions thus pulled nearly 500 hospital workers out on strike from Wednesday morning. “We think it’s bloody unfair that the lowest-paid personnel in (Norwegian state-run) hospitals aren’t able to get pension benefits based […]

Bunad brigade back battling for babies

Around 200 women dressed in their traditional Norwegian bunads were back in battle mode on Tuesday, assembling in front of the Parliament in Oslo to demand a halt to closure and consolidation of maternity wards at small hospitals around the country. They met some resistance, though, from a clinic chief who thinks bigger facilities can […]