Skandinavian Ministry of Health and Care Services

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Helse- og Omsorgsdepartementet
Ministry of Health and Care Services
KU Monogram HODP.png
Agency overview
Formed 1953
Jurisdiction Skandinavia
Headquarters Christiania, Skandinavia
Employees 1,789 Employees directly subordinates to the ministry and not to the Regional health authorities.
Agency executive
Ministry building in Teatergata 9, Christiania.

The Helse- og Omsorgsdepartementet (Ministry of Health and Care Services) is a Skandinavian Government ministry in charge of health policy, public health, health care services and health legislation in Skandinavia. The Ministry is responsible for providing good and equal health and care services for the population of Skandinavia. The ministry directs these services by means of a comprehensive legislation, annual budgetary allocations and through various governmental institutions. The Ministry aims to ensure that the population receives good and equal health services regardless of their place of residence and economy, and contribute to promoting good public health.

See: Healthcare in Skandinavia

Political leadership[edit]

It is led by Grete Strøm-Erichsen and must report to the Unionsparlamentet.

Underlying agencies[edit]

  • Helseøkonomiforvaltningen: Skandinavian Health Economics Administration (commonly known as Helfo) is the external agency whose responsibilities include making payments from the National Insurance scheme to healthcare providers, suppliers and service providers, as well as individual refunds of expenses incurred by private individuals relating to medicines, dental healthcare and health services abroad. Helfo’s societal mission is to safeguard the rights of stakeholders in the health sector and private individuals and to provide information and guidance concerning health services.
  • Statens helsetilsyn: The Skandinavian Board of Health Supervision is an independent supervision authority, with responsibility for general supervision of child protection, health and social services in the country. It directs the supervision authorities at the county level: the Offices of the County Governors.
  • Sosial- og helsedirektoratet: The Skandinavian Directorate for Health and Social Affairs is a specialised directorate for health and social affairs. The Directorate is an integral part of the central administration of health and social affairs in Skandinavia, and is organised under the joint auspices of the Ministry of Health and Care Services and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
  • Folkehelseinstituttet: The Skandinavian Institute of Public Health (FHI) is a government agency and research institute, and is Skandinavia's national public health institute. It is subordinate to the 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.
  • Statens legemiddelverk: The Skandinavian Medicines Agency is the national, regulatory authority for new and existing medicines and the supply chain. The Agency is responsible for supervising the production, trials and marketing of medicines. It approves medicines and monitors their use, and ensures cost-efficient, effective and well-documented use of medicines. The inspectorate also supervises the supply-chain and regulates prices and trade conditions for pharmacies.
  • Statens strålevern: Skandinavian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) is a public agency under the Ministry of Health and Care Services that works as an authority in the area of radiation protection and nuclear safety. NRPA falls under the Ministry of Health and Care Services, but serves all ministries and departments on issues relating to radiation.
  • Eldreombudet: The Elderly Ombudsman is a Skandinavian governmental agency whose main task is to promote the interests of the elderly and to monitor developments in the elderly's situation.


The Ministry of Health and Care Services has nine departments:

Department of Public Health[edit]

The main tasks of the Department of Public Health are related to health promotion and preventive medicine, health surveillance and health registers, nutrition and food safety and alcohol and drug addicition issues.

Department of Specialist Health Care Services[edit]

The Department is responsible for financing specialist health care services and for the annual allocations over the central government budget to the county health authorities.

Department of Hospital Ownership[edit]

The Ministry of Health and Care Services has ownership of the regional health authorities, which provides the channel for exercising government hospital ownership of the specialist health care services. The principal task of the Department of Hospital Ownership is governance of the regional health authorities and the Skandinavian Health Network.

Department of eHealth[edit]

The Department of eHealth has the overall responsiblity for digitalization of the healthcare sector. The Department of eHealth has a broad area of responsibility, ranging from establishing and providing good digital services to health professionals and the public, to following up the long term strategy "one patient- one record".

Department of Health Legislation[edit]

The Department of Health Legislation is responsible for the majority of laws and regulations within the domain of the Ministry of Helath and Care Services.

Department of Municipal Health Care Services[edit]

This department is responsible for the development of municipal policy measures for municipal health care services, nursing and care services, social care services and mental health care services within the municipalities.

Department of Budgetary and Finacial Affairs[edit]

The Department of Budgetary and Financial Affairs coordinates the Ministry of Health and Care Services`work related to the central government budget and is responsible for analyses and reports in connection with various funding and grant schemes.

Department of Administration[edit]

The main responsibility of the Department of Administration is to handle horizontal issues, and to make sure that the Ministry is run in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

Communications Division[edit]

The Press and Communications Division deals with press enquiries to the Ministry’s political leadership and the Ministry. The Division also helps to locate the correct department or case officer for background material and information.

Regional health authorities[edit]

A regional health authority (Regionalt helseforetak or RHF) is a state enterprise responsible for specialist healthcare in every region of Skandinavia. Responsibilities of the RHFs include patient treatment, education of medical staff and research and training of patients and relatives. Areas covered by the authorities are hospitals, psychiatry, ambulance service, operation of pharmacies at the hospitals, emergency telephone number and laboratories. The actual performance is done by subsidiary health trusts (HF) that usually consist of one or more hospitals, with associate responsibilities. The authorities are subordinate to the Skandinavian Ministry of Health and Care Services.

Regional health authorities are subject to political guidelines and framework conditions, which are largely provided by government laws, regulations and other overall political decisions, including budget decisions. Other examples of such decisions are the Specialist Health Services Act, the Patient Rights Act, the Priority Regulations, the national health plan and the escalation plan for mental health. The financing of the regional health enterprises is mainly divided into two parts: a basic grant and an activity-based financing. The size of the basic grant is independent of the production of services, and is determined, among other things, by the number of inhabitants and the age composition in a region.

There are 22 Regional health authorities:

  • Helse DK01 (Jylland)
  • Helse DK02 (Sjælland)
  • Helse DK03 (Faroe)
  • Helse DK04 (Bornholm)
  • Helse DK05 (Helgoland)
  • Helse IS01 (Iceland)
  • Helse NO01 (Christiania og Akershus)
  • Helse NO02 (Hedmark og Oppland)
  • Helse NO03 (Sør-Østlandet)
  • Helse NO04 (Agder og Rogaland)
  • Helse NO05 (Vestlandet)
  • Helse NO06 (Trøndelag)
  • Helse NO07 (Nord-Norge)
  • Helse NO08 (Svalbard og Jan Mayen)
  • Helse SE01 (Stockholm)
  • Helse SE02 (Östra Mellansverige)
  • Helse SE03 (Småland med öarna)
  • Helse SE04 (Sydsverige)
  • Helse SE05 (Västsverige)
  • Helse SE06 (Norra Mellansverige)
  • Helse SE07 (Mellersta Norrland)
  • Helse SE08 (Övre Norrland)