2011 Budget: Better Health and Welfare

In total proposed budget, 13 percent of the total expenditure of the state budget for 2011 is allocated for health care services . This implies a strong focus on health care, and represent a total of 133, 6 billion.

– This clearly shows that this government gives priority to health care, “said Health and Human Services Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.

100 million to combat substance abuse

The Government proposes to strengthen the field of substance abuse with 100 million for 2011. – This will help to provide people with alcoholism, a better help and treatment. This is in addition to the previous grants, and means that there is an increased effort to combat substance abuse by one billion since 2005, said Strøm-Erichsen.

As a part of this effort, It is proposed to strengthen municipal activities with 70 million increase to strenghten the capacity of services provided to people with drug problems.

– Strengthening of municipal services will help to reduce the need for lengthy and costly services, reduce the need for specialized substance abuse treatment and contribute to a better quality of life for the individuals, “said Strøm-Erichsen.

29 million more for dental care

The Government proposes an increase of 29 million to improve access to dental services next year. In total, funding for dental health care field will be about 100 million. – We are now getting trained more staff and a regional profile of education, to get more accessible dental services, “said Health and Human Services Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.

Additionally, an increase in the allocation was proposed and 50 million NOK addition has been spared for e-health in next year’s budget. A total of 151 million has been set aside for this purpose in 2011.

– With the cooperation reform, we will build better health care. But electronic communication has an important place in this collaboration, “said Health and Human Services Minister.

Funds for a new hospital

In the state budget for 2011, the Government also determined an overall borrowing limit of 2.5 billion to build a new hospital. – This will be a great, modern new hospital serving people in Østfold county, “said Health and Human Services Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen. The project is estimated to cost 5 billion and the loan of 2.5 billion is in line with the application from the South-East Regional Health Authority.

Furthermore, the construction of a new child and adolescent psychiatric department in Stavanger has been considered in the 2011 budget. The project will cost 255 million, and 103 million of the cost will be funded from next year’s budget. In addition to these two new construction projects, there are some othe pilot projects in health. A center for a screening center for the most frequently occurring type of cancer combined for both sexes in Norway, colon and rectum cancer and a newborn screening center are two most important of these pilot projects.

Strengtening Welfare Budget

– State budget for 2011 is also a budget to strengthen welfare. Health and care means a lot to the individual’s living conditions and self-expression, and is an important prerequisite for a good society, “said the Minister of Finance. She also noted that health Enterprises’ revenues has also been increased in real terms by 1 billion to make sure that more patients receive better treatment.

The municipal sector is responsible for the core welfare services. A sustainable local government is a prerequisite for a good welfare facilities across the country. We will increase funding for care and welfare in municipalities with 5.7 billion. Growth is measured in relation to the income projection for 2010 in the Revised National Budget 2010″, said Strøm-Erichsen.

The Minister also suggested that the differences in the community will be reduced and the measures in the Government’s action plan against poverty continues and they proposed increased funding for targeted measures to reduce poverty in 2011.

Money is not Enough

Bent Tall, Conservative Party deputy health spokesman evaluated the increased health system funding in the new budget and noted that conservatives are pleased about more money allocation for patient care, but he told that they believe that money alone is not enough to bring down the long health queue in Norway which increased by 50 000 patients in last 5 years.

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