Shorter stays in hospital
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Patient statistics2000



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Shorter stays in hospital

The average number of bed-days in general hospitals is now 6 days. This number has been declining for many years now. For the first time since 1994 there has also been a decline in the number of inpatient stays. In 1999 there were more than 700 000 hospitalizations, and last year there were just under 695 000.

At the same time the number of day treatments at the hospitals last year rose by 22 000. There has been no change in the Patient statistics since the preliminary figures for 2000 were released.

Inpatients living in Norway spent a total of 4.15 million days in hospital during 2000, down 2.6 percent from the previous year. The average stay lasts six days. The average time spent in hospital has been declining steadily for a number of years. The number of bed-days per discharge fell from 7.5 in 1989 to 7.0 in 1992 and 6.5 in 1996.

On average, men and women are hospitalized equally long. As a rule, the older the patient, the longer the stay. Inpatients aged 5-9 are hospitalized an average of 3.3 days, while patients aged 80 years or older stay 8.3 days.

Fewer inpatient stays

From 1999 to 2000 there was a small decline of 0.8 per cent in the number of inpatient stays, to 694 703. Of these, 587 involved private-paying patients and 2 729 residents living abroad.

From 1993 to 1994 there was a decline in the number of registered inpatient stays, but afterwards the number rose until 1999. The increase of 3 per cent from 1997 to 1998 was the largest in this period.

Day treatment covers day patients admitted to hospital departments and treatments at outpatient clinics that are more extensive than a polyclinical consultation. Day treatment mainly covers day surgery, rehabilitation, dialysis and cancer treatments. The number of day treatments increased by 294 294 or 8.2 per cent from 1999 to 2000. Almost 130 000 of these treatments involved admitted day patients. The number of polyclinical consultations for 2000 (final figures) will be published by Statistics Norway in September.

Cardiovascular patients in majority

With respect to inpatient care, cardiovascular disease is still the most frequent cause of admission to hospital (nearly 15 per cent), followed by cancer, injuries and poisoning, pregnancy and birth, respiratory illnesses and gastrointestinal disorders.

In 2000, 691 974 resident inpatients - 307 288 men and 384 686 women - were discharged from somatic hospitals. For women, pregnancy, birth and postnatal care is the reason for most hospitalizations, precisely 71 036. Omitting these stays, women are hospitalized just slightly more than men. Women also live longer than men, so the greater hospitalization of women does not necessarily mean that they have higher morbidity than men.

Men are hospitalized more often for cardiovascular diseases than women, accounting for 58 per cent of the just over 100 000 hospitalizations. Women account for 54 and 57 per cent respectively of inpatient hospitalizations for tumours (mainly cancer) and diseases of the musculo-skeletal system and connective tissue.