Hans Petter Schjønsby: Health Board (Sundhedscollegiet) 1809-1815. The first central administrative body for supervision of health services in Norway
Summary of Report of the Norwegian Board of Health Supervision 1/2009
For a long time, Copenhagen was the only centre of events in the Danish-Norwegian state. But from 1809 and for some years later something happened that would have an impact on national administration of the health service: the Royal Norwegian Health Board was established in Christiania. This was the first national Norwegian administrative body with specific tasks related to the health services, or to be more precise, medical and pharmacy services.
The Board’s remit was particularly clear and precise, both in relation to the nature of the tasks and the requirements for administrative procedures. The work of the Board was to have a clear supervisory perspective. For example, according to Section 19, first sentence:
The Board shall monitor that legislation currently in force relating to medical services in Norway, and other legislation coming into force in the future, is upheld and acted in accordance with.
If necessary, the Board was required to address the need for extra measures with the appropriate responsible bodies. The work of the Board was to be directed both at the bodies and the personnel, though the military health service was not included in the task of supervision.
The requirements for administrative procedures are also noteworthy. The importance of effectiveness was stressed. In addition, it was required that there should be openness both about the assessments that were made and about any doubt or disagreement.
This still represents good administrative practice up to the present day.
This report provides an overview of the administrative work of the Board, based on material available from the archives.