More women than men in hospital
pasient, Patient statistics, health regions, health enterprises, diagnoses, illnesses, bed days, admissions, polyclinic consultations, doctor's visits, day treatmentHealth services , Health

Patient statistics2011



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More women than men in hospital

A total of 940 000 women and almost 800 000 men were examined or treated at general hospitals in 2011. They were either given out-patient consultations or admitted for day cases or hospital stays, or a combination of these.

In 2011, almost 145 000 more women than men attended a general hospital, equivalent to 18 per cent more women. The difference between the sexes applies to all levels of care, but is highest for day cases. One of the main reasons for the difference is that women attend hospital in connection with pregnancy and childbirth. Another reason is the fact that women in general live longer than men, and therefore outnumber men in the elderly population, who are in greatest need of health services.

Number of persons with at least one treatment at general hospitals, by sex. 20111
  In total Men Women
Total number of patients at general hospitals 1 737 029  796 443  940 586
In-patients  567 490  251 227  316 263
Number of patients with day cases  206 080 89 800  116 280
Out-patients 1 537 954  700 910  837 044
1  One person can have recived treatment at more than one level of care.

Person (patient) as a statistical unit

A change in the health register law on 1 March 2008 paved the way for making the Norwegian Patient Register personal identity detectable. The data for stays and treatments is related to persons via their personal identity number. Consequently, it is now possible to produce statistics with persons as a unit in the statistics in addition to hospital stays, day cases and out-patient consultations.

Increase in number of consultations

In 2011, there were almost 4 870 000 out-patient consultations in general hospitals. This is just over 157 000 consultations more than the previous year; an increase of 3.3 per cent.

A total of 1 538 000 persons received out-patient treatment; on average 3.2 consultations per patient.

A change in registration routines for cancer radiation therapy led to a strong increase of 58 per cent in the diagnostic group tumours. This is due to the fact that radiation therapies were previously registered by the treatment code, but are registered by the diagnosis code (cancer) in 2011.

About 23 per cent, or 1 121 000 of the consultations are registered without a main diagnosis. These are contacts with hospitals for routine examinations or administrative purposes, such as medical legal issues, examinations where illness is ruled out, population screening surveys, routine pregnancy controls, adjustments of supporting materials and rehabilitations.

Two out of three admitted for acute care

There are different categories of urgency for hospital stay admissions. Two out of three arrive at the hospital in need of acute care.

The average length of a hospital stay continues to decline. In 2011 there were 4.4 bed-days per stay, in 2007 there were 5 and in 2000 there were 6 bed-days on average.

In 2011 there were just over 866 000 hospital stays; an increase of 1.1 per cent from the previous year. A total of 414 000 day cases took place. This is 3.2 per cent less than in 2010.

Differences from the Norwegian Patient Register

The patient statistics from Statistics Norway are based on data from the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s Norwegian Patient Register (NPR). The population for the patient statistics in Statistics Norway covers the activity in general hospitals according to the definition in the Register of Business Enterprises. This definition deviates somewhat from the population that the NPR uses in its statistics, which covers all institutions with activity-based financing.

Main diagnosis and disease classification

A main diagnosis is given to a condition that is the primary reason for an examination or treatment given in hospital. If a patient has more than one condition, the most resource-demanding diagnosis is registered. The patient statistics are based on the international classification of diseases ICD-10.

Day cases and out-patient consultations not quite comparable with 2009 and earlier statistics

Because of changes in the hospital financing system, there have been some alterations in the definitions of day cases and out-patient consultations. The figures for 2010 and 2011 can therefore not be directly compared with previous years. (See last year’s article).

Patients living abroad and healthy newborns

Patients treated in Norway, but living abroad, are included in the patient statistics. Patients without a valid municipality number are also included in the statistics. However, these groups are not included in tables with figures for diagnoses. These tables show distributions of causes for treatments in hospitals for the population living in Norway. There were 4 326 hospital stays, 443 day cases and 7 723 out-patient consultations of people living abroad or persons without a valid municipality number in Norwegian hospitals in 2011. In contrast to earlier years, the statistics from 2009 also cover healthy newborns. This gives an increase of 45 754 hospital stays in the figures for 2011.

Statistics on accounts, hospital beds and personnel in general hospitals will be published by Statistics Norway together with figures for specialist health services on 18 June 2012.

Tables for 2011 will be published at a later date in Statistics Norway’s StatBank.