Norway is undergoing big changes in the future according to the new health and hospital plan called Nasjonal Helse- og Sykehusplan 2020–2023. This plan is the new white paper of the Norwegian government replacing the previous white paper. The cooperation between different stakeholders, for instance municipalities and hospitals or even regional health authorities is currently fragmented in Norway.
This means that decisions might be made without consulting the other party within the same municipality.
In the white paper the suggested solution is to establish 19 different bodies that will guarantee that all the stakeholders in the same municipality or county will communicate with each other. In my opinion, this will be a big improvement to the public procurement processes and will help to avoid unnecessary purchases when the stakeholders are forced to talk together.
New technology, digitalization and competence are other themes in the plan. These topics are expected to increase remote solutions in health care either virtually with the patient or at the patient’s home. It is also hoped that the special health care services would be handled more and more at the patient’s home. This could give cancer patients a chance to be at home with their loved ones.
Digitalization is hoped to be adopted in a way that offers something to the patient. There will also be a focus on training the health personnel, whether it comes to new technology or meeting the patients.
Norway will offer a bunch of interesting opportunities when it comes to remote health solutions, technology inside the hospitals and why not even export of services in the form of consultation.
The health regions and hospitals have calculated that during 2020-2024 the total sum of investments needed will be around € 9.3 billion (page 163, Nasjonal Helse- og Sykehusplan 2020-2023). The investments will focus on upgrading and updating the current hospital buildings, including medical technology and ICT solutions. Some of the investments include for instance the new hospital in Drammen, a new children’s hospital in Bergen, a new hospital in Stavanger and new proton building in Bergen. Though the latter project concerning the new proton center has been criticized as a political project because there already is a proton center in Oslo – and even the Oslo proton center does not have 100% utilization rate.
The general problem for Norwegian and Finnish companies seems to be how to find the right stakeholders and how to contact them. This point is left out from the plan and should be more in focus. The idea of new technology, innovation and ideas is excellent but the tools to get access to the latest innovations on the market are still weak and need more work. The plan states that there should be more dialogue between the public and private sector but the tools to achieve this are almost non-existing at the moment.
The opportunities for the Finnish companies are in the technology that allows aging population to stay longer home, doctors can do diagnoses to patients either virtually or at their homes, the huge hospital projects and ICT solutions. For more information on how to access these opportunities you are more than welcome to contact me at the Business Finland’s Norway office.