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Healthcare in Norway

On this page you will find information on the healthcare access you're entitled to and how to get it whether you're:

  • moving to, or already living in Norway (including as a student)
  • visiting Norway, for example on holiday

Living in Norway after Brexit

If you currently live in Norway

The UK has reached an agreement with Norway on citizens' rights. This means that if there is a no-deal Brexit, existing healthcare entitlements will be protected. The agreement protects the rights of UK nationals who are living in Norway, and Norwegian nationals who are living in the UK, before exit day.

Current healthcare arrangements will not change for UK nationals who are resident in Norway before the UK leaves the EU, for as long as they are living in Norway and covered by the agreement. This includes:

If you are a posted worker with a UK-issued EHIC or S1 certificate working in Norway before exit day, please read the guidance on GOV.UK about National Insurance when you go abroad.

Get help paying for medical treatment after Brexit

During the first 6 months after Brexit, if you need medical treatment and you're being asked to pay for it, the UK can help.

To organise a payment, you'll need to give your healthcare provider's details to the NHS Business Services Authority's Overseas Healthcare Services.

Call the NHS Business Services Authority on +44 (0)191 218 1999 for more information. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm and Saturday 9am to 3pm (UK time).

Using NHS services

You can use NHS services in England, Scotland and Wales without charge when visiting the UK after exit day if:

  • you are living in Norway before exit day
  • the UK government currently pays for your healthcare – for example, if you have a UK S1 certificate registered in Norway

If you move to Norway after Brexit

If you are planning to move to Norway after the UK leaves the EU, you need to make the best decisions for your circumstances and consider:

Make sure you have all the right documentation and it is up to date.

You should not expect to be able to use NHS services for free when visiting the UK if you are moving to Norway after Brexit. You should take out appropriate travel insurance when visiting the UK, as you would when visiting any other country.

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test you will be able to access NHS care without charge.

Visiting Norway after Brexit

You should prepare for possible changes to how you access healthcare if you are a UK national planning on visiting Norway after the UK leaves the EU.

Your UK-issued EHIC may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit.

If your visit begins before the UK leaves the EU, the Citizens' Rights Agreement between the UK and Norway means that:

  • existing healthcare entitlements will be protected
  • your EHIC will be valid for the duration of your stay if there is a no-deal Brexit

If your visit starts after the UK leaves the EU, your EHIC may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Check your travel insurance has the necessary healthcare cover to ensure you can get any treatment you might need. For example, if you have any pre-existing health conditions, talk with your GP and insurer about how to get the right cover, and how this affects your travel.

This guide will be updated when there is more information about travelling to and living in Norway after Brexit.

Healthcare in Norway until the UK leaves the EU

Finding help in an emergency

Call 113 if you have a serious life-threatening emergency. This number is free of charge.

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.

Visiting Norway

Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance if you're planning to visit Norway. The government always advises UK citizens to take out comprehensive travel insurance when going overseas. Your EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

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.

Your EHIC enables you to access necessary state-provided healthcare in Norway at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free if you're staying there temporarily.

Make sure you are treated by a healthcare provider in the state system as you will not be covered for private healthcare with an EHIC.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork.

Pre-existing health conditions

You should buy medical travel insurance before visiting Norway if you have a pre-existing health condition. 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 a pre-existing condition that will need treatment while abroad, ask your doctor in the UK for advice before you travel. Take any documents about your health condition or medication with you.

Your UK-issued EHIC will be valid for the duration of your stay if your visit begins before the UK leaves the EU.

Your EHIC may not be valid if your visit starts after the UK leaves the EU, and there is a no-deal Brexit.

If you are travelling to have planned medical treatment, read our guide to seeking medical treatment in Europe.

Dentists

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.

Hospitals

You'll need to be referred by a GP (known as "fastlege" in Norwegian) for any hospital treatment. For doctors' appointments, tourists and residents pay a standard fee every time they see a doctor.

Prescriptions

You must pay full price for most medicines. The cost of a medicine depends on whether it is on a blue or a white prescription. Medications on the blue prescription list cost less than those on the white prescription list.

Medications on the blue prescription list are only available with a prescription from a GP or other doctor.

Children under the age of 16 and pensioners receiving the minimum pension do not have to pay any co-payment.

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 additional legal controls apply to these medicines.

You may need a personal license to take controlled medicines abroad.

Specific requirements also apply to:

  • the information you must take with you
  • how you carry your controlled medicines

Visit GOV.UK for more information about travelling with controlled medicines.

Living in Norway

UK nationals living and/or working in Norway must follow the registration process to access the same entitlements to healthcare as Norwegian nationals. You can find more information on the Norwegian Directorate for Immigration website.

Healthcare in Norway is funded by mandatory payroll contributions to the National Insurance Scheme, grants by the central government, and patient contribution.

Generally, everyone resident in Norway is a member of the National Insurance Scheme. Whether you are eligible for health coverage and other social security benefits is dependent on your contributions to the National Insurance Scheme.

To be considered resident, your stay in Norway must last, or be planned to last, for at least 12 months. Membership begins on the date of entry.

Some residents subscribe to private health insurance to cover patient contributions, secure faster treatment and see private practitioners.

Although everyone is entitled to medical services, there is a fee for using many of them.

If over the course of a calendar year, you have paid a total of 2369 NOK (2019) for your medical expenses using the state system, you will be granted an exemption card (frikort). These medical expenses include GP visits, medicines and treatment. With an exemption card, most additional expenses will be covered by the National Insurance Scheme for the rest of the calendar year.

S1 certificate

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Norway and receive:

  • an exportable UK State Pension
  • a contribution-based Employment Support Allowance
  • another exportable benefit

You can apply for a certificate of entitlement, known as an S1 certificate if you are eligible. An S1 certificate helps you and your dependants access healthcare in Norway.

You may be eligible for an S1 certificate, if you:

  • receive certain UK benefits, such as a UK State Pension
  • are employed by a UK body or firm (you are a posted or frontier worker)
  • are a dependant of someone who has an S1 certificate

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

If you receive a UK State Pension, you can apply for your certificate via the Overseas Healthcare Service on +44 (0) 191 218 1999 (option 5).

The existing healthcare entitlements of UK nationals who are living in Norway on exit day will be protected, even if there is a no-deal Brexit. This is because of the Citizen's Rights Agreement between the UK and Norway.

This includes:

• S1 holders who are living in Norway before exit day
• UK nationals living in Norway at exit day who reach state pension age after Brexit

If you do not have an S1 certificate, you can continue to apply for one until the UK leaves the EU. It is important to have all the right documentation and that it is up to date.

For other exportable benefits, you may need to contact a different team depending on the exportable benefit. You can find more information under Claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad on GOV.UK. Please note that different exportable benefits can have different rules in terms of healthcare cover.

Working in Norway

You may be entitled to health cover funded by the UK if you're a worker posted by a UK company to Norway.

You can find out more from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC):

Students in Norway

If you are a UK resident studying, or about to study in Norway, your UK-issued student EHIC will remain valid for the duration of your course, as long as you stay on it. You can find more information on GOV.UK.

If you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme while you are studying in Norway, you will be entitled to subsidised healthcare from the public healthcare system.

The government always advises UK nationals to take out comprehensive insurance when going overseas. Your EHIC is not an alternative to insurance and you should have both when you travel abroad.

Read more about healthcare when studying abroad

For more information on healthcare when living abroad, read our guide to Planning your healthcare if you're moving abroad.

Page last reviewed: 23 September 2019
Next review due: 23 September 2022