Go directly to legislation of specific CAM therapies in Norway:
Acupuncture – Anthroposophic medicine – Ayurveda – Chiropractic – Herbal medicine/Phytotherapy – Homeopathy – Massage – Naprapathy – Naturopathy – Neural therapy – Osteopathy – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) - Other treatments
Norway has been a member of EFTA (The European Free Trade Association) since 1960 (215) and a founding member of the Council of Europe since 1949 (12).
The legal and regulatory status of CAM and CAM practices
Alternative treatment in Norway is from 1 January 2004 regulated by LOV-2003-06-27-64 Lov om alternativ behandling av sykdom mv.) (English version: Act No.64 of 27 June 2003 relating to the alternative treatment of disease, illness, etc.)(216).
The law is based on the governmental policy document OT.prp. nr.27 (2003-2003) Om lov om alternativ behandling av sykdom mv. (About act of alternative disease etc.) (217). The regulation recognizes that alternative treatment can be provided by both medical and non-medical professionals and within or outside of health services. No specific CAM practitioners or treatments are mentioned.
Norway has two national regulations on CAM complementing the act related to alternative treatment of disease, illness etc. LOV-2003-06-27-64 section 3 says: “Section 3 Registration scheme. The Ministry shall issue regulations regarding a voluntary registration scheme for health personnel and others who practise alternative treatment”(216).
To fulfil this section the Ministry of Health passed the following national regulation: FOR-2003-12-11-1500 Forskrift om frivillig registerordning for utøvere av alternativ behandling (Regulation of a voluntary registration system for practitioners of alternative treatment) (218). The Brønnøysund Register Centre (Brønnøysundregistret) is a government body under the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, and consists of several different national computerised registers, including registers for alternative treatment practitioners.
LOV-2003-06-27-64 (216) section 8 Protected title and marketing refers to the Health Personnel Act Section 48 to 51 (219) which regulate protected titles for health professionals in Norway. “Only persons who have been granted authorisation, a licence or specialist approval pursuant to Section 48 to 51 of the Health Personnel Act may use a title designating the group of health personnel concerned. Only persons who are registered as practitioners of alternative treatment in the register established pursuant to Section 3 of this Act may use the designation ‘registered’ along with their professional title of alternative therapist”.
To fulfil the marketing section the Ministry of Health passed the following national
regulation: FOR 2003-12-11 nr 1501: Forskrift om markedsføring av alternativ behandling av sykdom (220) (Regulation related to marketing of alternative treatment of disease).
LOV-2003-06-27-64 section 5, 6 and 7 restricts treatment with medical intervention, treatment which may entail a serious health hazard for patients and treatment for communicable diseases or other serious diseases and disorders only to be practised by
health personnel (216).
To strengthen the development of CAM research the Norwegian Research Council in 2000 established a research group in complementary and alternative medicine at the University of Tromsø which later became the National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM).
In 2005 the Ministry of Health and the Norwegian Directorate of Health initiated improved CAM-related information to the public by establishing the National Information Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIFAB). NIFAB is organized as a unit within NAFKAM and launched their first websites in 2007. The personnel at the infromation center now runs the three webistes CAM Cancer, CAM Regulations and NAFKAM. The Norwegian Directorate of Health (221) has established positions responsible for CAM-related health questions.
The governmental supervision of CAM Practices
CAM practitioners with a health profession are supervised as health personnel according to the Supervison Act (222). Non-medical CAM practitioners fall within the jurisdiction of the Criminal Act.
The reimbursement status of CAM practices and medicinal products
CAM treatment in hospitals is fully reimbursed in Norway. Norwegian Health Insurance
covers treatment, medication or hospital accommodation when you are admitted to hospital and are a member of the National Insurance Scheme. Out-patient CAM treatment at hospitals are partially reimbursed.
If you undergo a health check or receive medical treatment with a GP or as an outpatient at a health institution in Norway you are obliged to pay a ‘user fee’. CAM treatment given out of hospitals is mainly not covered, but may be reimbursed if combined with conventional treatment given by health personnel.
More information can be found on The Norwegian Health Economics Administration’s web site (HELFO)(223). CAM treatment given by practitioners that are not registered health care professionals is not reimbursed.
215. EFTA. EFTA through the years EFTA (The European Free Trade Association); 2011 [cited 2011 November 8]; Available from: http://www.efta.int/about-efta/history.aspx.
216. LOV-2003-06-27-64 Lov om alternativ behandling av sykdom mv : English: Act relating to the alternative treatment of disease, illness, etc, Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet, 2002-2003 Sess. (2003).
217. Helsedepartementet. Ot.prp. nr. 27 (2002–2003) Om lov om alternativ behandling av sykdom mv. Oslo: HOD (Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet); 2002. p. 228
218. FOR-2003-12-11-1500 Forskrift om frivillig registerordning for utøvere av alternativ behandling; (English translation unauthorized: Regulation on public register for providers of alternative treatment), (2003).
219. LOV-1999-07-02-64 Lov om helsepersonell m.v. (helsepersonelloven- hlspl) HOD (Helse-og omsorgsdepartementet)(1999).
220. FOR 2003-12-11 nr 1501: Forskrift om markedsføring av alternativ behandling av sykdom: (English translation unauthorized: Regulation related to marketing of alternative treatment of disease) (2003).
221. Ministry of Health and Care Services. Norwegian Directorate of Health. Oslo 2011 [cited 2011 October 1 ]; Available from: http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/hod/About-the-Ministry/Subordinate-institutions/the-directorate-for-health-and-social-af.html?id=213297.
222. Lov- 1984- 03-30-15 Lov om statlig tilsyn med helsetjenesten, HOD (Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet) (1984).
223. The Norwegian Directorate of Health. The Norwegian Health Economics Administration’s web site (HELFO). Oslo: The Norwegian Directorate of Health; 2011 [cited 2011 October 31]; Available from: http://www.helfo.no/omhelfo/Sider/about-helfo.aspx.