An Ap decision to reduce private healthcare services in order to strengthen the public healthcare system is criticised by the head of the Norwegian Nurses Association. Proving that not everyone in the trade union movement moves in step.

Not everyone in the trade union movement is equally satisfied with the many resolutions that were hammered out at the Labor party’s national meeting this weekend.

The harmony that obviously prevailed among the majority of meeting participants does not seem to extend very far beyond the party’s inner circles.

Criticism is now coming from the Norwegian Nurses’ Association, as the association’s leader has objections to the decision against private healthcare services.

NTB reports on the case, and quotes NRK.

The challenges with staffing in the health sector can and should be solved in other ways than giving veto rights against establishing private businesses, says Lill Sverresdatter Larsen to NRK.

The Labor Party’s national meeting advocated new rules to regulate private actors more strictly. The party will “put in place an approval scheme for the establishment of privately funded health services when such establishments impair necessary access to health personnel in the public health service”, it says.

In practice, it will make it significantly more difficult to establish and run various private health services in this country. These are offers that many Norwegians today benefit from, not just the so-called rich, to whom the Labor Party has long aimed most of its patronage.

The purpose of the Ap decision shall be to ensure that the public hospitals have access to enough nurses, doctors and other health personnel.

The head of the Norwegian Nurses’ Association points out that according to Statistics Norway, 17,000 nurses work completely outside the health service. It is their jobs that Labor is now undermining.

That is the biggest problem, she believes.

The head of the Norwegian Nurses Association says she knows that private players offer salaries, working time arrangements and other benefits that are perceived to be more attractive than that offered in the public sector.

The answer is to offer sufficient wages in the public sector, believes the head of the nurses’ association.

But not many people believe that such public wage increases will be automatic.

In addition, some will argue that increased wages will not be enough, other factors are equally important explanations for why a large number of health personnel prefer to work elsewhere than in the public sector.

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