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June 26, 2007

Exporting Health Care

This looks like an entirely sensible way to spend health care money:

In a new twist on care for the elderly, thousands of Norwegians are relaxing in the Spanish sun and taking health cures at a growing number of geriatric and rehabilitation centres run by Norwegian municipalities and staffed almost entirely by Norwegians in the Alicante region.

"Instead of building a new treatment centre in Oslo, local authorities can just build one in southern Spain," said Lotte Tollefsen, a spokeswoman at the Norwegian embassy in Madrid. "It is easy to find qualified medical personnel and the climate is very beneficial to the patients. Compared to the Norwegian winters, it's a soothing balm."

Salaries, land prices and ordinary living expenses are also considerably lower in Alicante than in Norway, one of the most expensive countries in the world. Many doctors and nurses are even willing to accept lower pay in exchange for the chance to work for a year or two in sunny Spain.

The governments of chilly cities such as Oslo or Stavanger have already opened five residences, most of them near the town of L'Alfas del Pi, home to about 10,000 Norwegians. The largest, Reumasol, operated by a state-subsidised rheumatism association, sees approximately 2,500 patients a year. The complex includes 44 apartments, 32 hotel rooms, three pools and a miniature golf course. Those who come without a doctor's orders pay €600-1,000 (£400-675) for two weeks.

Actually, there's a Norwegian bird lives near here. Supposedly allergic to everything about modern life. Can't live in the necessarily enclosed housing of Norway: whether I believe that or not isn't the point. But the Norwegian Govt. pays for her to live down here year round. Certainly works out for her and I'm sure it's a damn sight cheaper for the taxpayer to have her here on a disability dole than it would be in Norway.

June 26, 2007 in Health Care | Permalink


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"Actually, there's a Norwegian bird lives near here."

Surely the most inelegant sentence ever written on this blog!

Tim adds: Not, perhaps, as inelegant as the Norwegian bir.....no, I can't say that, can I?

Posted by: aristeides | Jun 26, 2007 10:33:51 AM

Not pining for the fjords, then?

Posted by: dearieme | Jun 26, 2007 5:00:42 PM