WORKING IN THE HEALTH SECTOR IN NORWAY
(Updated April 2015)
About the health sector
The health sector in Norway is organised in three main parts:
The Municipality Health Services (Kommunehelsetjenesten)
Consists of general practitioners services, emergency room services, physiotherapy, nursing homes, midwife services and nursing services, including health visitor services and homes-based services. The health services are performed by personnel employed by the Municipality or private practicing personnel with a reimbursement agreement with the municipality. The municipality may also organize occupational therapy and occupational health services. The municipality also runs preventive health services for its inhabitants. For more information, see the web page Norwegian Municipalities.
The regional Health Authorities (Regionale helseforetak)
The state has responsibility for specialist services such as public hospitals and psychiatric institutions, ambulance and emergency call services, hospital pharmacies, laboratories and some of the drug rehabilitation institutions. The hospitals and institutions are organized in enterprises/trusts under four Regional Health Authorities:
• www.helse-nord.no (covers the counties of Nordland, Troms, Finnmark)
• www.helse-midt.no (Nord-Trøndelag, Sør-Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal)
• www.helse-sorost.no Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane)
• www.helse-vest.no (Vest-Agder, Aust-Agder, Telemark, Vestfold, Østfold, Buskerud, Oppland, Hedmark, Akershus, Oslo)
Public Dental Healthcare (Tannhelsetjenesten)
The regional administration (Fylkeskommune) is organising the public, dental healthcare. Each county has a number of dental clinics covering varying geographical districts. For more information see Norwegian county administration.
Private Health Services (Private helsetjenester)
They do not have a reimbursement agreement with the municipality. These may include general practioners and physiotherapists who are not connected to the municipal health services, as well as some dentists and chiropractors. There are also approved hospitals and occupational health care services.
Demand in the health sector
In recent years the demand for health personnel has increased especially for nurses and doctor specialists.
Language, education and training requirements
Notice that practising as a health professional in Norway requires an authorisation from the Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel (SAK) www.sak.no . Practising as a medical specialist, a dentist or an optician requires also a specialist approval from the Norwegian Directorate of Health – to be applied for after obtaining the authorisation from SAK.
Working in the Norwegian health sector generally requires a good knowledge of the Norwegian language.
It is recommended to try to learn the Norwegian language before relocating. You can test whether the language resonates with you by trying the free online course at www.ntnu.edu/learnnow . You may also contact the Royal Norwegian Embassy in your country www.norway.info to get information about available Norwegian language courses in your country.
• www.ntnu.edu/learnnow (free online Norwegian language course)
• www.vox.no/English (see under immigrant integration)
• www.norway.info (Norwegian courses abroad)
How to find work
The majority of vacancies in Norway are listed on the Internet. All job vacancies published in Norway can be found in the NAV job database. Most of the vacancies are written in Norwegian, but you can find a number of job vacancies in English by using the pre-defined search. Employers and job seekers may contact the National contact point, NAV Service Centre EURES (NSSE) on tel.: +47 75 42 64 04 (Monday- Friday, 08:00 am to 15:30 pm) or e-mail: email@example.com to enquire about vacancies. On Mondays and Fridays (10:00 – 13:00) the EURES services in Norway is available on chat.
In Norway there is no legal minimum wage that applies for all branches and professions. But employers- and unions organizations regularly negotiate wages and working conditions, resulting in a wage agreement (tariffavtale). Members then commit themselves to pay wages according to agreement for your occupation. According to SSB 2014 www.ssb.no average salary for doctors working for the regional Health Authorities is gross NOK 68 200,- per month, and for nurses gross NOK 42 500,- per month.
When you work in Norway for a Norwegian employer you are required to pay tax in Norway. For more information www.taxnorway.no
Read your rights as an employee and find a standard contract of employment, in English on www.workinnorway.no .
Preparing for relocation
Visit www.workinnorway.no to get a step by step guide on how to prepare before relocation. For additional information visit www.nav.no/englisheures .
In Norway, trade unions play an important role in the workplace. Membership is not mandatory, but the majority of workers chose to join. See below to find links to trade unions for various kinds of health personnel.
• www.sykepleierforbundet.no (The Norwegian Nurses Organisation, NNO)
• www.legeforeningen.no (The Norwegian Medical associations, MNA)
• www.tannlegeforeningen.no (The Norwegian Dental Association
• www.fysio.no (The Norwegian Physiotherapist Association)
• www.psykologiforeningen.no (The Norwegian Psychological Association, NPF)
• www.radiograf.no (The Norwegian Society of Radiographers)
• www.fagforbundet.no (Norwegian Union for Municipal and General Employees)