If you’re planning to head off on your travels to any country of the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland, you need to grab yourself a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). EHIC holders are entitled to use the state-provided healthcare facilities within all participating countries at a reduced cost, or even completely free of charge. This means that you’re covered for emergency care, as well as treatment for any pre-existing medical issues, such as diabetes. It’s important that you plan ahead and do research on what facilities are available in the countries you plan to visit, especially if you require ongoing treatment. This is because healthcare varies hugely across the diverse and eclectic continent that we call Europe. Don’t leave yourself stranded without the help you so dearly need.
The Kingdom of Norway, like the rest of Scandinavia, is a country that is not afraid to move with the times. The healthcare system is publicly funded in Norway and is of an extremely high standard. Norway was voted as having the 11th best healthcare system in the world in a recent poll.
Valid EHIC holders can use any of Norway’s many public hospital facilities, as well as GP surgeries and clinics. This care is sometimes totally free of charge, but may be subject to a fee. However, anyone staying in Norway for more than one year will be expected to pay a set contribution towards the country’s national insurance scheme. In Norway, there should always be at least one pharmacy open within each district, with schedules of these available from any pharmacist. Prescription drugs are split into two classes, the first is for more common medicines and there is a nominal fee to be paid for them. The second class is for other types of medication, and these can be quite expensive in Norway. Always check ahead, and try to take everything you need with you, to avoid unexpected costs.
There are many very good hospitals and other medical institutions spread across Norway, so you’ll never be too far from expert medical help. The transport infrastructure is very good, so you should also have little trouble reaching medical assistance. The emergency number for medical assistance is 113 in Norway, while the police emergency number is 112. It is estimated that over 90% of the population of Norway speak English, meaning that you should be able to communicate your medical issues well to any attending healthcare professionals. However, it is always a good idea to carry a phrasebook containing some useful medical phrases at all times, especially if you have pre-existing conditions.
Norway can be expensive for tourists, so don’t add expensive healthcare costs to your holiday bills. Make sure you have a valid EHIC card so you can explore this beautiful country with total peace of mind.
From its many waterways and inlets to the sprawling countryside and up into the high mountains, Norway can be extremely cold, but it’s most definitely a beautiful place to be.