Journals from Oslo Norway
2010-03-16 Health Care
The health care system is Norway is a lot different than in the States. The first time I went to see a doctor it took me a good hour to hour and a half to find the place because I had never been there before. Once I finally got there all the paper work I had to fill out was a piece of paper with my name and address. I immediately saw the doctor who could speak English and went into his office to describe my symptoms. I suffer from chronic sinus infections, but the doctor thought I had a viral infection and I didnt do a very good job at explaining my medical history. So I paid 460 Norwegian Krone or close to 80 US dollars to the doctor for a lab test that I already knew the results of and was told I had to come back in a week if I didnt feel better.
I didnt feel better: I was sick for 3 weeks straight with a sinus infection and it was hell. During the week after I saw the doctor, I talked to one of my professors at school and he told me that in Norway you must see the general practitioner first before you see a specialist like an ear, nose and throat doctor which I usually see in the States. The reason is money driven because the regular doctors would not see patients to make money if they went straight to specialists and the specialists would be over-booked with patients. Also the doctors usual say come back in a week if you dont feel better as a standard procedure to get more money out of you. I was not happy at all due to my circumstances, waited out the week, and was not very impressed with the health care system in Norway.
I went back to the same doctors office but this time I got a female doctor and finally got antibiotics that I needed to get over my sinus infection. I am finally healthy feeling like myself again trying to get back into an exercise routine that I did before I came to Norway. What I would stress is the importance of doing your homework on the health care system of the country youre going to study in and also talk to your international student coordinator once you arrive, which I didnt. You never know when youre going to get sick, so be smart, and you wont have to go through what I did.