Fears poorer care several places in Norway

Thursday 21 June 2018

There are increasing numbers of older people in small municipalities inland and northern Norway. Now the Directorate of Health is fearing that in the future it will be worse than the old ones living in the cities.

The reason is that the youth is moving from the village and that there will be fewer left to take care of those who need help. This is reflected in a new report, Care 2020, prepared by the Directorate of Health and Housing Bank for the Ministry of Health and Care.

It shows that while people over 67 make up just under 20 percent of the population in the smallest municipalities inland and in the north, the proportion of the largest cities is down to 12 percent.

“We are worried that we get both increasing geographical and social health differences. It is the municipalities inland and partly northern Norway that have special challenges, says the head of the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Bjørn Guldvog, to VG.

It is getting older when the young people pack the suitcase. Projections from Statistics Norway show that the proportion of people over 65 in Hedmark, for example, increases from 21 per cent today to 27.3 per cent in 2040. The corresponding figure for Oslo is 12.3 and 16.7.

– Must be long-term

“The municipalities must think carefully about the way they plan on a long-term basis. They must think new and wise and get better interaction between municipalities and assess the need to merge. It is also important that they are able to build enough care homes and institutions and apply new welfare technology, “says health director.

He thinks, among other things, on distance tracking, using GPS that can track elderly people with dementia if they go away, electronic medication support, falls sensors or remote sensing of heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Another problem is that even the municipalities with the biggest challenges are, to a lesser extent than others, seeking subsidy schemes that promote new technological solutions.

“This means that the challenges can be greatest where they are least prepared to meet them,” says Guldvog.

Larger differences

He points out that many older people living in these relocation communities, where it is also harder to recruit health professionals, have lower income and education than the rest of the country.

“We already see that there is a pressure on healthcare towards greater social inequalities. Those with high education and advice can easily obtain the information and knowledge they need to have good health and ask for different types of help or pay for private services, says Guldvog.

My comment on this is:

We are in 2018 and we are the richest nation in the world, measured by the number of inhabitants. We have not put enough money for the elderly and the future generations of the elderly will get it bad in the world’s richest nation. I’m afraid I’m getting old in this country because I’m on low disability insurance. Norway is getting poorer on social benefits and has downgraded the welfare state. The government we have now is a horror example of it. Poor in Norway, and many of them will get worse over the years. We must say that this is not in rich Norway, we poor just have to crumble at Dr Richard’s table.

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