Oslo at a Glance
Living in Oslo
Between the islands in Oslofjord and the forests and mountains surrounding the city, expats living in Oslo benefit from a vibrant metropolis. Oslo is Norway’s heart and soul, its cultural, financial, and economic center. Indeed, Oslo has a lot to offer both to its local and its expat population. However, it takes more than a beautiful city and breathtaking fjords to fully enjoy your expat life in Oslo.
The Best Healthcare
While living in Oslo, you will be able to access both public and private healthcare services and facilities. You should remember, however, that in most cases, only public services are covered under the national insurance scheme. The public health service (Folketrygden) is financed by the Norwegian government and run by the individual communities. Expats in Oslo can always turn to a public medical clinic (Helsesenter) or refer to our list of medical services below.
National Insurance Scheme
Every expat living in Oslo has the right to join the National Insurance Scheme. This rule applies even if you are not a national of an EEA country, as long as you are a legal resident in Norway. Members of the National Insurance Scheme must pay contributions with their taxes. In order to claim all insurance benefits, you must have been a member of the national insurance scheme for a while.
If you are not automatically covered by the National Insurance Scheme, you can make voluntary contributions. This applies to you if your stay does not exceed twelve months.
Private Healthcare and Payment
You may, however, prefer to choose a private practice or hospital for a healthy life in Oslo. Private healthcare is widely available in Oslo as many doctors work in private clinics or hospitals and you are free to make an appointment anytime. Keep in mind, however, that private doctors are not covered under the National Insurance Scheme and are therefore more expensive.
But even if you turn to public medical facilities, healthcare will not be entirely free. It is, however, heavily subsidized. Essentially, expats living in Oslo have to pay a certain fee after each doctor’s appointment until they reach a certain limit. From then on, they are entitled to a so-called free card (frikort) for the current calendar year of living in Oslo.
Joining the Norwegian social insurance system while living in Oslo allows you to choose your doctor freely within the public system. As soon as you have picked a doctor, you can call them to set up an appointment. Please remember that most offices are open from 08:00 to 15:00. You will be asked to pay your medical fees following your appointment. Are you in need of specialist treatment? Visit your general practitioner first and ask for a referral.
Below we have listed a number of hospitals and medical centers in Oslo. This list is, however, by no means extensive. Please refer to your municipality or your medical insurance for more information.
- Oslo Legevakt (Oslo Emergency Hospital)
- Aleris Helse På Røde Kors Klinikk (ALERIS Health Center at Røde Kors Medical Clinic)
- Aleris Legesenter Aker Brygge (ALERIS Medical Center at Aker Brygge)
- Oslo Akutten (Oslo Emergency Medical Center)
- Volvat Medisinske Senter (Volvat Medical Center)
- Norsk Legesenter (Norwegian Medical Center)
If you haven’t picked your medical practitioner yet, or if you are in need of emergency care while living in Oslo, dial the emergency number 113. With major injuries, you can refer to Legevakten (Oslo Emergency Hospital) at Storgata 40. This emergency ward is open 24 hours a day. During the day, you should get in touch with your general practitioner (RGP) or visit one of the city’s emergency ward centers.
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