Summary of Survey of Availability of Doctors “When Help is not Urgent”
Summary of Report of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision 2/2003
In this report, the results of a telephone survey encompassing 432 municipalities are presented. The aim was to find out whether the municipalities had a system for ensuring that a doctor on call is available during the day. The market research company TNS Gallup was commissioned by the Norwegian Board of Health to carry out the interviews.
The interviewers managed to make contact with doctors’ surgeries with on-call duty in 184 municipalities.
In 114 municipalities, the person who rang was referred to their own regular general medical practitioner or another physician, and in 78 municipalities contact with the doctor was not attained. In 68 municipalities the telephone call was answered by the emergency medical service.
The methodology for the survey was complicated and the results must be interpreted with caution.
However, the Norwegian Board of Health believes that the results as a whole provide a reasonably good picture of the situation that patients can experience when using the number given in the telephone directory for contacting a doctor on call during the day “when help is not urgent”.