Fewer inpatient stays in hospitals
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Patient statistics2007



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Fewer inpatient stays in hospitals

For the first time in seven years there were fewer inpatient stays in Norwegian general hospitals in 2007. The number of stays was nearly 812 000, a decrease of 1.6 per cent. However, the number of day cases and outpatient consultations continued to increase.

Since 2000, the number of inpatient stays in general hospitals has grown, but in 2007 there were almost 13 000 fewer stays than in the previous year. The decrease has been strongest for the private commercial hospitals. Another reason for the decrease is of a more administrative nature. Some hospitals started reporting data as if they were one unit, with the result that transfers of patients between these hospitals are not counted as new stays.

The tendency towards a stronger emphasis on day treatment continues. During 2007 almost 568 000 day cases were treated, an increase of 4.4 per cent. The number of outpatient consultations rose by 5.2 per cent, or about 185 000 from 2006 till 2007. In total, 3.7 million consultations were conducted. The increase is partly due to a few new units reporting data.

Number of inpatient stays day cases1 and outpatient consultations2 and change in per cent from previous year, by Regional Health Authority (RHA). 2007
Regional Health Authority3 Inpatient stays 2007 Change in inpatient stays from 2006, per cent Day cases 2007 Change in day cases from 2006, per cent Outpatient consultations 2007 Change in outpatient consultations from 2006, per cent
Total  811 649 -1.6  567 633 4.4 3 729 606 5.2
South-Eastern Norway RHA4  450 965 0.6  325 928 4.6 2 057 580 8.3
Western Norway RHA  156 418 -2.7 95 965 0.4  698 598 1.4
Central Norway RHA  108 156 -1.4 73 179 10.2  556 956 2.3
Northern Norway RHA 83 494 -1.6 53 190 1.3  416 472 1.3
Private hospitals without RHA agreement 12 616 -40.0 19 371 8.1    
1  The sum of day cases in outpatient departments and hospital wards.
2  Outpatient consultations in private hospitals without RHA agreement are not included.
3  Includes some hospitals not owned by the Health Authority.
4  The sum of South Norway RHA and Eastern Norway RHA before 1 June 2007.

Four health regions in Norway

From 1 June 2007, Norway was divided into four health regions instead of five. Each region has a Regional Health Authority (RHA) that bears the responsibility for specialist health services for the inhabitants in its region. Health South-Eastern Norway RHA is by far the biggest, with 56 per cent of the populations within its area. The RHAs own the public hospitals within its region, and also finance some private hospitals (non-profit foundations). In addition, there are also a number of private commercial hospitals.

Inpatient stays in general hospitals, by sex and main diagnosis. 2007

Most frequently used diagnoses

The most common cause of admission to hospital was diseases of the circulatory system. 14 per cent of the main diagnoses for inpatient stays were due to such cardiovascular diseases. Injuries and poisoning represented 11 per cent and cancer to 10 per cent of the diagnoses.

There are differences between men and women with regard to the reason for inpatient stays. While women are most frequently admitted due to pregnancy and birth, men are most often admitted due to cardiovascular disease.

The most common causes of out-patient care were injuries, diseases in the musculoskeletal system and tumors. Injuries accounted for about 9.4 per cent of the consultations.

A main diagnosis is given for the condition that is the main cause for the patient’s need of treatment or examination. With more than one condition, the most resource demanding condition is chosen. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) is used in the Patient statistics.

Statistics Norway collects patient data from the Norwegian patient register.