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Under the Napoleonic Wars with the English blockade, the Royal Norwegian Health Collegium (det Kongelige norske Sundheds-Collegium) was established in Christiania in 1809. The theme of this book is the development of the central health administration from that time until 1983.

The development after the Second World War is focussed on. This was the time of professionalization and specialization, both within administration and the health service. In many ways, the structure of the central administration was ahead of the organizational development of health service provision.

Karl Evang and Torbjørn Mork were two people who played prominent roles. This book gives a description of these eminent people and their associates. The various roles of the Directorate of Health are described, and the work of this body is placed in the context of society as a whole. The strengthening position of doctors during the time of Evang’s leadership, and the often dramatic conflicts between lawyers and doctors in health administration, are described. The story continues with Mork’s attempts to defend the entrenched parties after Evang had strengthened their positions, and ends with the comprehensive changes that took place at the beginning of the 1980s.

The development of public supervision during the last few years will be dealt with in Part 2 (1983-2009).

Ole Berg (born in 1944) is Professor of Health Administration and Political Science at Oslo University. Through his teaching in the master course Master of Health Administration, he has had a large influence on a generation of leaders within the health services. He has been leader of the master course from when it began in 1986 and for several years. He was awarded the Order of St. Olav for his work in this area.