Health and insurance

A student practicing
Students at HiOAs bachelor program in Paramedics. Photo: Benjamin A.Ward/HiOA All rights reserved.

Upon signing a work contract where you are planning to stay in Norway for a while, you can become a member of the National Insurance Scheme (Norwegian: Folketrygden). You can opt not to join, but this is highly inadvisable, since public health care in Norway is among the best in the world.

Primary doctor

All members of the National Insurance scheme are entitled to a primary doctor (Norwegian: fastlege). The primary doctor is responsible for examining, diagnosing, prescribing medication and referring to a specialist doctor or hospital if necessary. The doctor is not appointed arbitrarily; the insured person gets to choose from a list of available practitioners in the near vicinity. If you do not make a choice, there is an automatic selection, but you can opt to change afterwards.

Your primary doctor can grant you a leave of absence from work if they deem fit. The severity of the condition determines whether you get full leave (100%), or reduced working time over a certain period. In case your doctor says you can work part-time, it is the employer’s duty to modify your schedule and adapt it to your needs.

Benefits of the National Insurance Scheme

European Health Insurance Card

If you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme and are staying temporarily in another EEA country or in Switzerland, it is recommend having a European Health Insurance Card.

The card proves that you are entitled to necessary healthcare in the same way as nationals of the country you are visiting.


The major hospitals in Oslo is under the cooperative umbrella of Oslo University hospital, making it one of the largest in Scandinavia and the 3 major Oslo hospitals of Ullevål hospital, Rikshospitalet and Aker Sykehus.

Ullevål Sykehus has many specialized areas, including a reputable maternity ward. The hospital also runs many residency-training programs for different groups engaged in healthcare, such as doctors, nurses and lab technicians. The hospital is a level I trauma center, servicing approximately half of Norway’s population

Rikshospitalet does specialized treatment and research. About 60 percent of the patients admitted to Rikshospitalet are referred from other hospitals in Norway. In Norway, Rikshospitalet plays an important role in the treatment of rare and complicated disorders.

Emergency care

Call 113 for life-threatening and acute health problems.

Treatment of illnesses and injuries that cannot wait until the next day, you need to  go to the emergency care (Norwegian: Legevakten) at Oslo Emergency Ward