Each country's health system is different and might not include all the things you'd expect to get free of charge from the NHS.
This means you may have to make a patient contribution to the cost of your care.
Visitors to Norway
Finding help in an emergency
If you find yourself in a serious life-threatening emergency, you should call 112. This number is free of charge and is also for the police and fire brigade.
Be aware that if you ask a hotel or travel representative to call a doctor, you may be treated privately.
If you wish to be treated under the state system, you must call 112 and ask for an ambulance to take you to the nearest state hospital.
Emergency medical treatment will be provided to individuals in urgent need of medical attention regardless of insurance cover, but people over the age of 16 with no insurance will be responsible for the costs.
Healthcare up until the UK leaves the EU
Emergency medical care is provided to anyone requiring urgent attention. You can expect to be charged in full for any care provided without an EHIC.
You should always buy enough travel insurance and make sure you have access to funding to cover any medical treatment abroad.
Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed by you or your insurance company to apply for any refund.
Currently, your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) enables you to access the necessary state-provided healthcare in Norway at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free if you're staying there temporarily.
If you're asked to pay for health services upfront, it's likely that you're not being treated under the state system.
EHIC does not cover certain costs, including:
- private treatment
- being brought back to the UK
- mountain rescue services
Be careful if healthcare arrangements are made by a hotel or travel representative.
They might reassure visitors that they can claim back whatever is paid out, but they're referring to private insurance and not the treatment given under the EHIC.
Provisional replacement certificate (PRC)
A PRC is a certificate demonstrating a person's entitlement to EHIC.
If you need healthcare but do not have your EHIC with you, you can call Overseas Healthcare Services and ask them to send a PRC to show to the hospital. This will avoid you being directly charged.
Contact Overseas Healthcare Services:
UK: 0191 218 1999
Outside UK: +44 191 218 1999
Open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm UK time.
People with pre-existing health conditions
If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Norway.
You must tell the insurance company about any pre-existing health conditions you have to make sure you can get the cover you need.
If you have an EHIC, this will be valid after the UK leaves the EU, but may not work after that.
If you have a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel.
Make sure you take any documents about your health condition or medication with you.
If you're travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, see our section about seeking medical treatment in Europe.
Dental care is free up until the age of 18 and covered to 75% for 19- and 20-year-olds. Adults over 20 pay the full costs of dental treatment.
Dental treatment is non-refundable in Norway. Certain medical dental treatment may be subject to a refund.
Just like in the UK, you'll need to be referred by a GP (fastlege) for any hospital treatment. Make sure you're referred to a state hospital as only these provide treatment free of charge.
Even in a state hospital you'll need a valid EHIC. Double-check you're not treated as a private patient.
For doctors' appointments, tourists and residents pay a standard fee every time they see a doctor.
But inpatient hospital treatment is normally free of charge, including any medication used in the process.
In the state healthcare system, you have the right to insist your EHIC is accepted. You do not have to provide travel insurance details unless you choose to do so.
You must pay full price for most medicines, unless they're on the "Blue Receipts" list for medicines treating chronic or long-term illnesses, which should be charged less.
When using your EHIC, people of working age are charged 50% and pensioners are charged about 10%.
Pensioners will have to declare they receive a UK state pension to pay the lower rate.
Bringing your own medicines to Norway
Some prescribed medicines contain drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation in the UK. This means that extra legal controls apply to these medicines.
You may need a personal licence to take controlled medicines abroad.
Specific requirements also apply to:
- the information you must take with you
- how you carry your controlled medicines
You can visit the GOV.UK website for more information about travelling with controlled medicines.
After the UK leaves the EU
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your access to healthcare when visiting Norway is likely to change.
If you're planning to visit Norway after the UK leaves the EU, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country.
The UK government is seeking agreements with countries, including Norway, on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after the UK leaves the EU.
This guide will be updated with further information on travelling to Norway as the circumstances change.
Working in Norway
Healthcare after the UK leaves the EU
EHIC does not cover residency of over 90 days in Norway, so UK nationals living and/or working in Norway must follow the registration process to access the same entitlements to healthcare as Norwegian nationals.
Healthcare in Norway is funded by mandatory payroll contributions to the National Insurance Scheme, grants by the central government, and patient contribution.
Most medical costs are covered by the National Insurance Scheme, with small contributions paid by the patient or covered by supplementary private health insurance.
If, over the course of a calendar year, you have paid a total of 2369 NOK (2019) for your medical expenses (GP visits, medicines, treatment and more) using the state system, your additional expenses will be covered by the National Insurance Scheme.
Foreigners who have lived in Norway for longer than 1 year and intend to remain resident are required to participate in the National Insurance Scheme (Folketrygden), which makes them eligible for health coverage and other social security benefits.
Payroll and patient contributions are paid to cover healthcare, with some exclusions.
Some residents subscribe to private health insurance to cover patient contributions, secure faster treatment and see private practitioners.
If you're a worker posted by a UK company to Norway, you may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK in the country you're posted to.
Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for more details:
National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs BX9 1AN
- Telephone: 0300 200 3500
- Outside UK: +44 191 203 7010
Opening times: 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (closed weekends and bank holidays).
For more information, see Planning your healthcare when moving abroad.
After the UK leaves the EU
If you have lived in Norway for longer than 1 year, you're required to contribute to the National Insurance Scheme (Folketrygden), giving you the same access to healthcare as Norwegian nationals, including non-emergency healthcare.
It's common for Norwegians to get supplementary insurance for healthcare expenses that are not covered by the basic mandatory scheme.
If you're a UK posted worker, you may need to buy additional healthcare insurance in Norway so you can receive the healthcare treatment you need.
Pensioners in Norway
Healthcare after the UK leaves the EU
If you live in Norway and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK.
You'll need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.
You may need to liaise with a different team, depending on the exportable benefit.
S1 certificate (formerly known as E106)
An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in Norway.
If you have an S1 certificate, it'll be valid until the UK leaves the EU. After this date, the certificate may not be valid.
You should continue to apply for an S1 certificate after the UK leaves the EU.
You may be eligible for an S1 certificate if you:
- have worked and paid contributions in the UK
- receive some UK benefits, such as pensions
For exportable UK pensions and contribution-based Employment Support Allowance (ESA), you can apply for your certificate via the International Pension Centre at the Department for Work and Pensions by calling 0191 218 7777.
Further information is available under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on the GOV.UK website.
Different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides information about what UK and Norwegian benefits are available to Britons living in Norway and information on driving regulations in Norway.
After the UK leaves the EU
Residence permits for Norway are granted for work, study, family reunification and studies or under the au pair scheme.
More information regarding specific visa and residence permit types is available on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website.
After 3 years of living in Norway it's possible to apply for permanent right of residence. Consult the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website for further information.
Students in Norway
If you're a UK resident and studying in Norway, and you have an EHIC, this will be valid until the UK leaves the EU
You should continue to buy insurance to cover your healthcare, as you would if you were visiting a non-EU country.
Page last reviewed: 28 January 2019
Next review due: 28 January 2022