Increasing Private Health Insurance in Free Health Care Country, Norway

Steinar Westin , professor of Social Medicine at NTNU told VG that this development in private health insurance is disturbing :

– It is a strange development in a country with a health care system that provides free assistance. This is not a demand… It’s obviously not hard to scare people into spending money on this. Anxiety and uncertainty can promote the sale of such insurance, says Westin.

Also, he believes that increased sales can be the prelude to a twin-track health care system :

– One can not conjure up more doctors and nurses. So private health insurance can draw labor force from public to private hospitals. I do not think people really want a twin-track health care system , he said.

Why do people buy the private health insurance?

Idar Kreutzer, Managing Director of Finans Norge says that the increase shows a demand for these products, reports VG.

– When buying insurance treatment at private hospitals and institutions , it increases the overall processing capability, reduces pressure on the public health system and should therefore be a benefit for everyone.

He adds that reduced sickness absence, less queuing time and better care of sick employees are the main reasons why Norwegian companies buy health insurance for employees. The waiting time in the public health system is the main reason that makes people purchase a private insurance, believes Svein Ove Kjennvold, Product Manager of insurance company Gjensidige.

What’s your choice?

The insurance companies points out a private insurance can offer people extra safety in case any health problem appears. They promise better treatment. But the question in front of everyone is:Do you really need it? And it also raises questions for Health Minister on how well the public health system is functioning in this prosperous welfare state.

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