This report presents the results of supervision of services provided by health centres carried out by the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision in 2011. The report gives an overview of management of health centres by the municipalities and urban districts.
We investigated how a representative sample of fifty municipalities, including 6 urban districts in Oslo, make priorities, plan, carry out and develop health centre services for children aged 0-6 years. Our findings and evaluation are based on questionnaires completed by the municipalities, documentation and additional information. We also used public statistics (from Statistics Norway) and data from the Norwegian Register of Vaccination.
The results show that there is large variation throughout the country in the content and quality of services provided by health centres. In general, management of the services was weak and inadequate in nearly all the municipalities in the sample.
We believe that the results of this survey can help the municipalities to improve the quality of these services. This is particularly relevant for implementation of the Health Care Act and the Public Health Act.
- Public authorities need to identify who has responsibility for what within the different sectors of preventive health care. Health centres need to know this in order to provide adequate services.
- The municipalities must ensure systematic monitoring of internal control and management of health centres in order to ensure that the services function as intended.
- The Offices of the County Governors, as supervision authority for health centres, should assess the need to follow up this survey in the municipalities in their own county.
The Norwegian Board of Health Supervision agrees with the Norwegian Directorate of Health that we need more comprehensive data about services provided by health centres, since this survey has shown that existing data are inadequate.
Report from the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision 1/2012 (pdf in Norwegian)