Norway National OT News

News from Norway, 2018

The Norwegian Association of Occupational Therapists, Ergoterapeutene, keep on promoting occupational therapy. We promote occupational therapists as a key profession to assure a sustainable health care system by supporting participation and inclusion in society through occupation. This is eliciting resources both for the individual person as well as for the society. We meet with ministers, secretaries of State and members of Parliament to promote how OTs can meet core challenges related to the ageing population, mental health issues, non-communicable diseases and work participation.

Last year the Norwegian government passed a new law to ensure that all Norwegian municipalities will offer service from an occupational therapist as from 2020. Therefore, the OT positions in the municipalities have increased accordingly.

Ergoterapeutene has, in close collaboration with the six Norwegian OT programmes, developed and published the Core Competency of Occupational Therapy. Based on national welfare and health challenges in Norway, on updated models and theories of OT, it documents how the OT profession meet these challenges. This makes a solid common platform to promote our profession.

For some years Ergoterapeutene has promoted and implemented reablement where OT has a central role. Most Norwegian municipalities have by now included reablement as a part of their free health care services. The Norwegian Association of Occupational Therapists is now putting a priority on our role within work participation and vocational rehabilitation, seeing our role in the adaptation of workplaces, supported employment and individual placement and support as central in the future.

Our strategy to promote occupational therapists as resource-oriented problem solvers for the future seems to be very fruitful.

News from Norway, 2017

Occupational therapy growing in Norway

In October 2015, the Norwegian government decided that occupational therapy needs to be a part of the primary health care in all the Norwegian municipalities, by the year 2020. This is going to be defined by law. This policy development is a result of targeted advocacy and argumentation from the Norwegian occupational therapy association, but also a result of the many examples of good work done by occupational therapists doing reablement in the municipalities.

About 100 Norwegian municipalities do not provide occupational therapy today. The Norwegian association is now actively working on getting the municipalities to see that there is no reason to wait until 2020; they should hire occupational therapists now. We argue that occupational therapy provides sustainable health care and that we help find resources in the person itself – and in that way free resources in the health care system. We are happy to say that occupational therapy lately has been the fastest growing occupation in the Norwegian municipalities – in percentage.

Through advocacy, occupational therapy has become more visibly present, both in the media and in Norwegian policy. The Norwegian association is now being invited to join forums that we earlier have had to work our way into.

The Nordic collaboration has been a big part of the recent Norwegian success. Both the Swedish and Danish associations have generously shared their experiences in working with reablement, and this has provided the Norwegian association with necessary knowledge during advocacy. The collaboration continues as we plan our annual Nordic meeting in August, this time in Iceland.

The Norwegian association recently achieved its 4000th member, and our organization continues to focus on growth, promoting occupational therapy and making sure our members have working conditions and salaries that reflect the valuable effort in making everyday life possible.

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