Right to treatment abroad

Is the healthcare you need not available in Norway, or has healthcare abroad been shown to be more effective than the corresponding healthcare that is available from the public healthcare service in Norway? If you are a patient who is entitled to essential healthcare from the specialist health service, the office for treatment abroad in the health region in which you live, can consider if you are you may be entitled to treatment abroad.

Nurse in the operating room

This scheme applies to treatment both within and outside the EEA.

If you are entitled to such treatment, the cost of both your treatment and your travel expenses will be covered by your regional health trust. Treatment abroad under this scheme is also covered by Norwegian rules on patient injury compensation in the event of errors or failures in the provision of healthcare. In general, expenses for experimental or trial treatment are not covered.

It is recommended that you apply for approval before accepting an offer of treatment from abroad; otherwise, you will have to travel at your own expense and risk. Planned treatment abroad is generally not covered by ordinary travel insurance.

You should send your application to the office for treatment abroad in the health region in which you live: 

However, the National Insurance Act also gives anyone who is entitled to treatment in Norway the right to have their treatment provided in another EEA country. You can claim reimbursement for your expenses from Helfo for hospital treatment and other specialist health services provided certain conditions are met. Please note that this scheme only applies if you receive treatment similar to the treatment that you would have received in Norway.

Refusal of coverage of expenses for treatment abroad

You can appeal if you have been refused coverage of expenses for treatment abroad. Send the appeal within 4 weeks to the foreign office at the Regional Health Authority that made the decision.

If the foreign office upholds the refusal, they will send your appeal to the National Office for Health Service Appeals for reassessment. When the office has made a decision, they will send it to you or your representative. 

If you disagree with the decision of the National Office for Health Service Appeals, you can sue. You do this by filing a subpoena with a court. You can read more about this on the website «Vil du ta ut stevning» (only in Norwegian helseklage.no).

Content provided by Helfo

Helfo. Right to treatment abroad. [Internet]. Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; updated Thursday, January 4, 2024 [retrieved Thursday, May 23, 2024]. Available from: https://www.helsenorge.no/en/treatment-abroad/right-to-treatment-abroad/

Last updated Thursday, January 4, 2024