Helse Nord RHF, Nye Helgelandssykehuset

Helse Nord RHF, Nye Helgelandssykehuset
Helse Nord RHF, Nye Helgelandssykehuset

Reader’s letter This is a debate entry, written by an external contributor. The post expresses the writer’s views.

High stakes with safety at stake

It’s just a matter of keeping our tongues in our mouths for us here in the north in the future. Because over the course of the year, much is decided over our heads. The decisions will give an indication of how safe we ​​can feel and what “equal healthcare” means in practice.

In Helse Nord’s work with how we patients will fare in the future, the decisions must be made at more regular intervals than the lap times of a five-mile cross-country track. Instead of the process that was originally planned, which looks at the whole and the parts together, the decisions instead come at different times, at different levels and faster than Petter Northug managed to finish the five-mile in Falun.

These days, the hearing “Measures to ensure sustainability in Helse Nord” is underway. The title sounds reassuringly bureaucratic, but a lot is decided here. Not least about who will be involved and decide what. Matters such as one or two hospitals in Helgeland are not taken up there. There should also be no diagnostics (e.g. X-ray) or the question of whether both Tromsø and Bodø should continue with the acute cardiac treatment PCI. How the cancer treatment is to be carried out is also not included. The same applies to treatment of premature newborns in Northern Norway in the future. Intensive care beds for the sickest patients must be looked at when the process is finished.

Individual parts of the health service are thus treated outside of, and to some extent even before, the whole, if there is any whole left to talk about at all. For Helse Nord, this can probably simplify its own process, but for the rest of us, our tongues must be kept very straight in our mouths if we are not to miss something. It almost feels like being an amateur and playing chess against Magnus Carlsen. And in the pot lies our security and our lives.

If you are playing with a professional, you should also be prepared for some moves you have not seen before. In this case, the entire premise for the changeover is taken up again for discussion, namely “good and equal specialist health services”. It is obviously possible to stretch a little on what this should mean. In Helse Nord’s dictionary, the synonym is now “proper services”. It is difficult to read this as anything other than that it is “proper services” that must now be offered throughout Northern Norway, and not “good and equal services” which was the prerequisite in the past. This could mean that the outskirts, perhaps especially in Finnmark and Nordland, will have poorer health care in the future than those living in the center of Tromsø.

In the consultation document, a lot of space is used to describe a regional hospital (UNN in Tromsø), while a large emergency hospital (Nordlandssykehuset in Bodø) is not discussed particularly carefully. Nordlandssykehuset is among the largest emergency hospitals in Norway in terms of the number of residents in its admission area. It is safe to hope that it is an oversight, but such an oversight can suddenly give an entire county a much poorer health service. If in the future we are not to have all three levels, Northern Norway will be the only region without a complete hospital service that can fulfill all functions.

In Northern Norway, we have been allowed to keep the hospitals in Lofoten and Vesterålen after the Minister of Health intervened, but much of the other things that make us feel safe both as cancer and heart patients and as new parents can still fail. All the cases that are now to be dealt with in one fell swoop will together provide an answer as to whether the population in northern Norway will have a truly equal health service after the restructuring of Helse Nord.

I am worried.

It remains to be seen whether we in Northern Norway will end up with equal health services, or whether they will simply be “proper”.

By county council leader in Nordland, Svein Øien Eggesvik

The article is in Norwegian


Tags: Helse Nord RHF Nye Helgelandssykehuset


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