In Norway, patients are entitled to emergency specialist healthcare and to necessary specialist healthcare, facilitated by (four) regional health enterprises. These are separate state-owned legal entities. Patients have a free choice between public providers and private – if contracted – providers. The regional health enterprises are partly funded through basic state funding and partly by services using Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG). Norwegian healthcare is, in general, provided by public entities. However, in recent years there has been an increase in private health insurance to more than 500,000 people (of a population of 5.2 million). New developments involve the application of public procurement rules for healthcare services which may lead to tensions regarding trust in new providers and with existing services; the collection and storage of health data creating dilemmas between privacy and monitoring of outcomes; and an increased emphasis on measures and financing aimed at prevention.
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