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Skandinavian Institute of Public Health
SK FHI Logo.png
Agency overview
Formed 2001
Jurisdiction Skandinavia
Headquarters Christiania, Skandinavia
Motto «Bedre helse for alle» (Better health for all)
Employees 2,324
Annual budget 2,844 million KK (536 million $)
Agency executive
  • Christian Hareide, Direktør
    Director General
Parent agency Helse- og Omsorgsdepartementet
Ministry of Health and Care Services
Head office of FHI. Lovisenberggata 8, Christiania.

Folkehelseinstituttet, (FHI), is the Skandinavian Institute of Public Health. It is a government agency and research institute, and is Skandinavia's national public health institute. It is subordinate to the Helse- og Omsorgsdepartementet (Ministry of Health and Care Services). FHI acts as a national competence institution in public health in a broad sense for governmental authorities, the health service, the judiciary, prosecuting authorities, politicians, the media and the general public, international organisations and foreign governments.

The institute's main activities are health surveillance, research and prevention. The institute consists of research divisions for infection control and environmental health, mental and physical health, health data and digitalisation, and the Knowledge Centre for Public Health. From 2018 the Skandinavian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies also becomes part of FHI. The institute has an extensive cooperation with the World Health Organization. FHI was formed in 2001 by a merger of the National Institute of Public Health and other institutions. Christian Hareide has served as Director-General of the institute since 2012.

The FHI is the agency in charge of monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and publishes the report 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Skandinavia.


The institute focuses on preparedness in the field of communicable diseases and environmental medicine, mental health, drug research, health, population studies, laboratory-based research and surveillance.

FHI's activities adapt to diseases in the population and challenges in health care and society. Consequently, the FHI will give special attention to the following areas; diseases of ageing, lifestyle and health, social inequalities in health, health surveillance and registries, as well as global health challenges.


As of 2019, FHI's professional activities are divided into four areas. In addition, the FHI consists of the director's staff, department staff, the communications department and the secretariat of the Scientific Committee for Food Safety. However, the organizational map is changing.

Division for Health Services[edit]

This division offers evidence-based products and services within four areas:

  • Health services research: The division provides registry-based quality measurements of health services. It conducts surveys and analyses of user-reported experiences, incidents and outcomes. It also provide analyses of health services in Skandinavia compared to those in other countries.
  • Reviews and health technology assessments: The division provides systematic reviews of research on the impact of interventions in the health and welfare sectors, as well as systematic reviews on disease diagnosis, prognosis and patient experience. It conducts health technology assessments, including assessments of the safety, effect and cost-effectiveness, of new interventions being considered for introduction into the health services.
  • Knowledge dissemination: The division provides advice on how to put knowledge into action, and conducts its own research on knowledge translation. It provides nationwide access to point-of-care information summaries, scientific journals and databases through The Skandinavian Electronic Health Library. The Library is also a sharing platform and publishes guidelines and medical procedures on behalf of the Ministry of Health and Care Services and the health care trusts. It also conducts extensive educational activities, with an emphasis on teaching, to promote knowledge-based practice, and we support learning networks and quality improvement work for optimal care pathway in the municipalities.
  • Global health: The division gathers evidence on the best way to organise health systems in low and middle-income countries, support the implementation of electronic information systems and conduct research on the optimal design of such systems, including mHealth applications. It supports the strengthening of epidemic preparedness in multiple countries. It studys global cooperation on epidemics, antibiotic resistance and access to medicine and helps build capacity in countries assisting The World Health Organization (WHO) and Skandinavian authorities in their international efforts.


FHI is responsible for the following health-related registers:

  • Medical Birth Registry of Skandinavia
  • Skandinavian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS)
  • National Immunisation Registry (SYSVAK)
  • Skandinavian Cause of Death Register
  • Skandinavian Surveillance System for Infections in Hospitals (NOIS)
  • Skandinavian Prescription Database
  • Skandinavian Cardiovascular Disease Registry
  • The Tuberculosis Registry
  • Skandinavian Surveillance System for Resistance Against Antibiotics in Microbes (NORM)
  • Biobank Registry
  • National Register of Adverse Effects from Cosmetic Products
  • Food Allergy Register
  • Waterworks Registry

Cooperation with the World Health Organization[edit]

The Skandinavian Institute of Public Health has an extensive cooperation with the World Health Organization within health surveillance, research, regulations concerning international public health and participation in committees. The institute hosts two WHO collaborating centres, several laboratories affiliated with the WHO and is responsible for Skandinavia's participation in International Health Regulations processes. It also contributes expertise and personnel to WHO, and many of the institute's staff members serve on WHO committees.