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Report

Commonwealth Fund’s health policy survey in 11 countries: Norwegian results in 2013 and development since 2010

The Commonwealth Fund-survey 2013 shows that the Norwegian respondents have few problems with payment for received healthcare, and that it is easy to access healthcare in evenings or weekends. The results also shows that the Norwegian respondents report longer waiting times before getting an appointment with their regular doctor, a specialist, a non-emergency surgery and in the emergency room, compared with the other countries.


  • Issued/Revised: 2013
  • By: Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services
  • Haugum M, Bjertnæs ØA, Iversen, HH, Lindahl AK , Nylenna M. Commonwealth Fund’s health policy survey in 11 countries: Norwegian results in 2013 and development since 2010, Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services . Report 2013. ISBN (digital): 978-82-8121-638-9, ISSN (digital): 1890-1298. Available at www.fhi.no/en

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Key message

The Commonwealth Fund-survey 2013 shows that the Norwegian respondents have few problems with payment for received healthcare, and that it is easy to access healthcare in evenings or weekends. The results also shows that the Norwegian respondents report longer waiting times before getting an appointment with their regular doctor, a specialist, a non-emergency surgery and in the emergency room, compared with the other countries. Further, the perceived quality of received healthcare, help to coordinate care and information from healthcare personnel are all assessed more poorly in Norway compared with the other countries.The Norwegian results are better than the average of the other countries in these domains:Costs as a reason for not seeking healthcare, or problems with payment for received healthcare.The ease of access to healthcare in evenings or during weekends.Access to test results/medical records at the time of scheduled medical care appointment.Unnecessary medical tests ordered.Confidence in control and management of own health problems.The Norwegian results are poorer than the average of the other countries on the following areas:Waiting time for an appointment with regular doctor, a specialist, a non-emergency surgery and in the emergency room.Regular doctor’s patient-centredness.Help to coordinate care.Experienced quality of received healthcare.Information and organization concerning discharge from the hospital, as well as information regarding prescription ugs.Received wrong medication or medical mistake in treatment, and health personnel’s information about such events.The main picture is that there are few changes in Norway from 2010 to 2013. The most positive trends were identified on questions regarding contradictory information from health personnel, information about medication and possible symptoms when leaving the hospital, as well as an overall assessment of the healthcare system in Norway. The most negative trend was identified on the question regarding medical mistakes. However, most trends from 2010 to 2013 are relatively small.

Summary

Background In 2013, Norway participated for the fifth time in Commonwealth Fund’s International Health Policy survey. A representative sample of adults, 18 years or older, assessed how well the healthcare system in their countries works. This survey is a repetition of the survey Commonwealth fund carried out in 2010. Countries that participated in 2013 were Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the USA.Method This report presents the Norwegian results for 2013, and compares the Norwegian results with an average of the other countries. We also compare the results for Norway in 2013 with the results for Norway in 2010.The survey was carried out as telephone interviews in all the participating countries. 1 000 interviews were conducted in Norway, giving a response rate of 11 %. The Norwegian results are weighted by region, age-by-gender, educational attainment and phone status (cell phone only or not).The questionnaire is developed in the USA by the Commonwealth Fund, and builds upon the questionnaire from the 2010-survey. The questionnaire was translated to Norwegian and tested in Norway in advance of the survey.Areas covered by the questionnaire were:Access and primary careUse of specialistsExperiences with care in the hospital and emergency roomHealth care coverageOut of pocket costs and medical billsPrescription drug useDental careMedical errorsHealth status, preventive care and demographicsThe Norwegian questionnaire also contained five additional questions about regular doctors.There are some changes in the questionnaire from 2010 to 2013. In this report we only compare Norwegian results over time on questions that were identical in the two surveys, both in terms of the framing of the questions and in the response alternatives.We have performed several tests on the Norwegian data to check the data quality, giving us indications that the data quality in Norway is good. However, some problems still remain: A low number of respondents on some of the areas makes it necessary to interpret the results with caution. Also: we do not know enough about the data quality in the other countries. This makes it difficult to compare Norway with each of the other countries since potential differences can be caused by methodological issues rather than real differences in responses. For these reasons we compare the results for Norway with a mean of the other countries combined.ResultsThe results from 2013 show that the Norwegian respondents have few problems with payment for received healthcare, and that it is easy to access healthcare in evenings or weekends in Norway. The survey also shows that the Norwegian respondents report longer waiting times before getting an appointment with their regular doctor, a specialist, a non-emergency surgery and in the emergency room, compared with the other countries. Further, the perceived quality of received healthcare, help to coordinate care and information from healthcare personnel are all assessed more poorly in Norway compared with the other countries.The Norwegian results are better than the average of the other countries in these domains:Costs as a reason for not seeking healthcare, or problems with payment for received healthcare.The ease of access to healthcare in evenings or during weekends.Access to test results/medical records at the time of scheduled medical care appointment.Unnecessary medical tests ordered.Confidence in control and management of own health problems.The Norwegian results are poorer than the average of the other countries on the following areas:Waiting time for an appointment with regular doctor, a specialist, a non-emergency surgery and in the emergency room.Regular doctor’s patient-centredness.Help to coordinate care.Experienced quality of received healthcare.Information and organization concerning discharge from the hospital, as well as information regarding prescription drugs.Received wrong medication or medical mistake in treatment, and health personnel’s information about such events.The main picture is that there are few changes in Norway from 2010 to 2013; the results on 18 of 26 questions concerning the healthcare system’s performance and quality were unchanged. The most positive trends were identified on questions regarding contradictory information from health personnel, information about medication and possible symptoms when leaving the hospital, as well as an overall assessment of the healthcare system in Norway. The most negative trend was identified on the question regarding medical mistakes. However, most trends from 2010 to 2013 are relatively small.Conclusions The positive results from the survey show that costs and problems with payment seem not to be problematic for the Norwegian respondents. Also: it is easy to access healthcare in evenings or weekends in Norway. The more negative results show that Norway have longer waiting times, the regular doctors are less patient-centered and the healthcare personnel contributes less to coordination of care compared with the other countries. This includes experiences with regular doctor and information from healthcare personnel.The comparisons of the results over time show that the Norwegian results are fairly the same as in 2010. Some changes have been identified, mostly in a positive direction, however; there are some uncertainties in comparing results over time and most of the changes are relatively small. The positive trends over time were identified on the thematic areas regarding access to healthcare in primary care and information from healthcare personnel. It is important to explore if these trends hold in the coming Commonwealth Fund-surveys.

This is a publication from the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services. The Knowledge Centre became part of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health 01/01/2016.