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Norway looks after its elderly - in Spain
The Guardian ^ | June 26th, 2007 | Dale Fuchs in Madrid

Posted on 06/26/2007 12:29:59 AM PDT by Cardhu

· State-subsidised trips are just what the doctor orders
· It's cheaper, warmer - and no pining for the fjords

The Guardian

Norway is exporting its elderly and infirm to the Costa Blanca in the hope that the Mediterranean climate will help them live longer - and that lower costs will save the state 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.

The trend goes beyond the waves of "health tourists", including many Britons, who fly to Malaga for a cheaper hip replacement or a shorter waiting list than back home. All the Norwegians have to do is get the approval of their doctors, fill in a few forms and they are eligible for six weeks to a lifetime stay near Benidorm, at the expense of Norwegian tax payers.

"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.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: elderly; health; norway; spain

1 posted on 06/26/2007 12:30:03 AM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Cardhu

Norway is such an oddball country. They essentially live off of their oil money. Their people are some of the laziest and least productive in Europe. They call in sick an average of about 20 days per year. They get 4-weeks and a day of paid vacation guranteed by the government. When you throw in state holidays, you’re essentially looking at 2-months off per year. They work on average 600 less hours than your average American.

And yet they have this incredibly high GDP per capita as a result of their oil revenues (just as high as we have in the US). So they just redistribute that to the populace. In all honesty, I think socialism works okay in Norway, at least in the short term.

Sure, it promotes daliance. It’s gradually crippled their Christian heritage and sense of identity. And it’s definitely created an opening for Islamists.

That said, in the short term, pretty much everyone is living well and living easy. It’s not difficult to afford to travel. You’ve got plenty of time off to do it. Their populace remains fairly educated....

It’s not going to last forever, and a move to alternative fuels is going to send all of that spiralling. But for now, it works out pretty well.

2 posted on 06/26/2007 12:40:02 AM PDT by CheyennePress
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To: CheyennePress

I spent a whole day (just a couple of days ago) arguing with a semi-well known Norwegian blogger over his belief that the socialist medical care program of Norway is absolute perfection.

Finally gave up trying to argue with him. Unlike most leftists he doesn’t hate capitalism: He likes it for his own profit and convenience, but he has deeply drunk the Kool-aid that socialism is the answer for providing the basic needs of all people.

Well, at least he isn’t a hypocrite about it. Apparently he doesn’t mind paying over 60% of his income in taxes and paying the equivalent of $8 for a single beer etc. when it gives him ‘free’ health care and a ‘free’ college degree etc..

Maybe it is something in the water, or in the air, but for now, it seems that the people of Norway are doing OK with the socialism thing. But like you, I doubt that even with the obvious ‘difference’ of Norwegians from normal human behavior, that it can last.

3 posted on 06/26/2007 2:37:57 AM PDT by LegendHasIt
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To: LegendHasIt

sitting on a pile of oil doesn’t make a state monarchy like saudi arabia superior to capitalism either

once oil is exhausted or hopefully obsoleted, the muslims will be whining poor pathetic scumbags, instead of whining rich pathetic scumbags

4 posted on 06/26/2007 2:47:21 AM PDT by Enduring Freedom (jorge bush is the first mexican president)
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To: Cardhu

Is this really something new?

My husband’s grandmother lived out the last 10-15 years of her life in a Norwegian residence for the elderly in the Canary Islands, courtesy of the government. I really can’t recall, but I think she passed away in the eighties.

I recall being told that the winters were just too hard in Norway for older folks.

5 posted on 06/26/2007 3:58:47 AM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: reformedliberal
I live in Spain and I am not sure if this is new or not - I just reported what was in the Guardian.

I know for a fact that every winter, most of the Hotels in the Canary Isles are leased to Scandinavian companies or their government for their citizens. In Majorca and the south of Spain I am sure it is much the same judging by the large Scandanavian populations in those places. Though I believe the Germans take over Majorca in teh winter.

This is great as it keeps the hotel staff employed during the winter months, together with the Spanish government subsidising flights and hotel expenses for all their retired people, anywhere in Spain or the Spanish islands.

I have been on three trips like that, to Majorca, the Canaries and the Costa Blanca. Last year they subsidised 980,000 pensioners. Far better than paying unemployment compensation. In fact the winter is the best time to go to those places as the summer tends to be too hot.

6 posted on 06/26/2007 6:26:46 AM PDT by Cardhu
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To: Cardhu


7 posted on 06/26/2007 6:31:04 AM PDT by traviskicks (
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To: CheyennePress
We are more productive per hour. Thats why we don't need to work so many hours. Its called efficiency. In many country people work many more hours a year than the US also and they are still just average. I have talked to people from the US and its their honest belief that we are much more productive. Also less than 4% of the revenue from the oil is spent over the budget. Our medical bill per person measured in GDP is just about 60% of the average American.
8 posted on 06/26/2007 10:44:10 AM PDT by tomjohn77
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To: tomjohn77
Also less than 4% of the revenue from the oil is spent over the budget.

That is the direct influence of oil in the budget, but there is an indirect one, since oil revenues affect the entire economy and part of that money is recovered again by the government through taxation.

Look, what I see is that the level of prices in Norway isn't comparable to any other one in Europe.
9 posted on 06/26/2007 11:24:42 AM PDT by J Aguilar (Veritas vos liberabit)
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To: J Aguilar
Look at other countries with with huge mineral reserves and oil. Most of them are poor. Big natural resources can make it harder it in a good economical way. Our prices are close to the other Nordic countries. Btw look at different reports about economies in the world and most of them will tell you Norway has a good business environment.
10 posted on 06/26/2007 12:02:50 PM PDT by tomjohn77
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To: CheyennePress
Have you heard about the petroleum fund that is money invested in stocks etc for future generations. Right now we have saved up about $350 billion.
11 posted on 06/26/2007 12:07:00 PM PDT by tomjohn77
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