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In 2004, the Norwegian Board of Health in the counties carried out countrywide supervision of health services for newly-arrived asylum seekers, refugees and people reunited with their family. Supervision was carried out in 55 municipalities. The most important areas for supervision were:

  • whether the municipalities meet the regulations on control of tuberculosis

Many municipalities do not have a complete overview of people who have recently arrived in the country, and therefore they do not meet the deadline, laid down in the regulations relating to tuberculosis, to identify people who may be infected and to ensure that these people receive appropriate treatment. However, the clear impression gained from supervision is that persons with signs of tuberculosis are followed up well, and that they are quickly referred to specialist health services for examination and treatment.

  • whether information is provided about health services and essential health care in connection with communicable diseases, pregnancy and mental disorders

One-quarter of municipalities had not ensured that all newly-arrived people had received information about health services. In one-fifth of municipalities, deficiencies were found in services for newly-arrived people, with regard to preventive measures and examination for detecting communicable diseases.

Supervision has also shown that detection of mental disorders and adequate provision of treatment for such disorders varies in different municipalities. The consequences of deficiencies in mental health care can be more serious for people in this group than for people who are well integrated into Norwegian society. Pregnant women and women giving birth receive the necessary health care they have the right to receive.

All the municipalities in the country should evaluate their routines for obtaining a complete overview of people who have recently arrived in the country, so that they are able to control for tuberculosis and ensure that these people are given information and essential health care before they have a regular general practitioner.