Out-of-hours medical service
All municipalities in Norway offer an out-of-hours medical service for immediate medical assistance 24 hours a day. Call the 6-digit number 116 117 for free to contact your local out-of-hours medical centre. In an emergency, call 113.
What the out-of-hours medical service can do for you
When you call the six-digit number 116 117, you will get through to the out-of-hours medical centre in your local area. When your GP's surgery is closed, the out-of-hours medical centre will offer you assistance with what cannot wait.
Your out-of-hours medical centre will also be able to help you when you are away from home, e.g. if you are on holiday or travelling. If you believe it is an emergency, call the emergency medical helpline 113.
Examples of circumstances where it may be appropriate to contact the out-of-hours medical service:
- High fever – particularly in children
- Moderate breathing difficulties
- Acute illness or serious deterioration
- Unresponsive or exhausted children or adults
- Serious mental illness
- Suspected pregnancy complications
- Cut injuries requiring stitches
- Suspected fractures
When I need medical assistance: Who should I call?
- Your General Practitioner (GP) during opening hours
- Your local out-of-hours medical centre on 116 117 when your GP is unavailable and you are unable to wait
- 113 in an emergency
Your GP or your GP's surgery is your main point of contact within the health service. If you can, you should always call your GP first.
How to contact the out-of-hours medical service
Call the six-digit number 116 117 or your local out-of-hours medical centre number. Both lines are answered 24 hours a day by the out-of-hours medical centre.
If you need to contact an out-of-hours medical centre away from where you normally live, you can call the local number. Check the municipal authority's website or directory enquiries.You can also call 116 117 and dial "0" to choose a dispatch center by using the zipcode.
Attendance and user fees
The various out-of-hours medical centres across Norway are organised in different ways. In all municipalities, there is always at least one doctor on duty at all times. When you use the services of an out-of-hours medical centre, you must pay a user fee.
In most places in the country, you will be expected to call the out-of-hours medical service for an assessment before you decide whether or not you need to go to the centre. Good advice over the telephone can often be sufficient.
When you arrive at the medical centre, you must always contact the staff so that they can make a quick assessment of the urgency of your situation. If you have to wait, it will be because other people need help more urgently.
In order to provide the best possible care, the out-of-hours medical service will need information such as personal details, address, why you are contacting them, previous illnesses and any medicines you are taking.
Your GP will also be able to provide you with assistance quickly
If you need assistance during the daytime, you should call your GP or your GP's surgery first. Your GP will assess the urgency of your situation and will normally give you an appointment on the same day if necessary. You should always contact your GP regarding sick-leave, prescription renewals and chronic and known complaints which are not deteriorating rapidly.
Changing your regular doctor
You can find and change to a different General Practitioner (GP)/family doctor on the helsenorge.no website ("Bytte fastlege"). If the GP you want to change to is not available, you can register on the waiting list.
When should I call 113?
In the event of an accident or serious incident where you need emergency medical assistance, you should call 113. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should always call the emergency medical dispatch centre 113:
- Onset of facial paralysis – difficulty smiling, laughing or showing teeth
- Onset of arm paralysis – difficulty raising both arms
- Onset of language disorders, inability to find words or slurred speech
- Sudden or unexplained loss of balance
- Unconsciousness or reduced consciousness
- Chest pains lasting more than five minutes
- When taking the heart medicine nitroglycerine has less effect than usual
- Unexpected discomfort in the chest area, general malaise and nausea