A closer look at Norway’s coming dental reform

After the Labor Party won the Norwegian elections this year, the new government has announced that it will work toward an increased focus on free dental services. 

Norway’s coming dental reform is an effort to provide more affordable and accessible dental care for all. Succeeding in this endeavor will take time, money, and a plan that takes the most important factors into account when deciding how to go about the reform. 

The wish for more affordable dental care

Norway’s new prime minister, Jonas Gahr Store, is being pushed by people from his own faction to bring the new changes that are being discussed heavily, according to the Norwegian newspaper magazine E24. The goal is, as stated in the introduction, to institute a system that brings more affordable dental care. Some want to phase in this system gradually, whereas others want to bring it in as soon as possible – effective immediately. 

Norway’s coming dental reform will not be cheap

As with most reforms, Norway’s coming dental reform won’t be cheap. It will take a lot of money, planning, and implementation processes to succeed as the new status quo. Before the elections, both the Centre Party and the Labor Party announced that they wished to institute a reform within the dental industry – and both parties also agreed that this process would be costly and that it would require tough prioritization in the state budget. 

Any person who is familiar with economics is that money is not an inexhaustible resource; no matter how eager someone is to produce a change in the government, there are many factors to consider. The national economic pie only has a given number of pieces – once we’ve taken all of them, it’s hard to summon up new ones from nowhere. 

The hundred-day plan

The state of dental care today is the following: 

  • Free for children under 18 years of age
  • 19- and 20-year-olds get cheaper treatment than adults
  • Adults more than 20 years old mainly have to pay the dental bill on their own

In the Labor Party’s hundred-day plan, the changes in dental care will be:

  • Free for children under 19-21 years of age
  • Half price for those between 22-25 years old
  • Individualized aid schemes for those who cannot afford full price

These changes appear to take people’s personal lives better into account, giving them more time to “grow up” before they start “adult life.” After all, there are lots of students who go to college until they are 22-25 years old, depending on whether they’re studying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or whether they’re studying for a profession such as being a psychologist or dentist. 

Can Norwegians trust this reform to happen? 

After looking at the changes that will take if Norway’s dental reform happens, we must ask: can they trust that it actually will happen? In the past, other parties have also given lofty hopes to Norwegian citizens about how dental care would become cheaper for more people. But these promises did not come to pass. 

The current government, however, does have a strong understanding of Norwegian’s economic problems and has shown a history of working for the causes that will benefit the everyday man and woman. So perhaps it’s safe to have faith in Norway’s coming dental reform and the Labor Party’s hundred-day plan? That will be up to prime minister Jonas Gahr Store and his newly formed government to prove. 

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