Expert Opinions on Healthcare for Immigrants in Norway


Andrea Kubicki1, Haben Debessai1, Megan Masten1, Reena Pullukat1, Kirsten Salmela1

Author Affiliations:

1College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

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*Corresponding Author: Megan Masten;

Key Words: Norway; healthcare; immigrant; barriers to care; language


Background: Documented immigrants eligible to stay in Norway for more than 6 months can enroll in the universal healthcare system for full healthcare services, such as acute, chronic, and preventative care.1 All other non-citizens only have access to emergency services. With an increasing influx of immigrants to Norway, it is advantageous to evaluate the Norwegian healthcare system, how documented and undocumented immigrants utilize the system, and any barriers they may face when doing so. The aim of this study is to identify barriers to healthcare for immigrants in Norway in order to better address them in the future.

Methods: Sixteen subjects with knowledge of immigrant healthcare in Norway were interviewed. Participants were asked the same standardized four questions; answers were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed.

Results: Major themes that emerged included the following: (1) universal access is a benefit once accepted into the system, (2) timeliness is an issue, (3) chronic disease and mental health are common immigrant-specific health issues, and (4) language and lack of cultural competency are major barriers to care.

Conclusion: There is a need for improved translation services and cultural competency as the immigrant population in Norway increases.

Published: Spring, 2019


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