The Norwegian Medical Association has two important functions: being the trade union of the Norwegian doctors, and being a professional association for doctors. There are medical societies under the umbrella of the NMA. This dual function explains some of the main working areas of the Norwegian Medical Association, which provides a wide range of services to its members.
Negotiating financial remuneration and other conditions of employment or contractual terms
By far the greater part of the Norwegian health care system is organised and financed by the public sector. An important trade union task for the NMA is to negotiate physicians` salaries and other financial remuneration as well as conditions of employment such as working hours and on-call duties. From 1 January 2002, ownership of the hospitals was transferred from the counties to central government, hence responsibility for them was placed with one owner. The hospitals are now organised as enterprises, i.e. as separate legal entities, and negotiations are now held for each enterprise.
Other advisory functions
The NMA has a broad range of other advisory services for its members on most issues pertaining to their profession, including legal counselling and counselling on how to obtain licence to practise in other countries.
Safeguarding professionalism and medical ethics, promoting the development of high-quality health care services and the rights of patients are tasks that increasingly benefit from international co-operation within the profession, to which the NMA has for long contributed actively. Through its central organisation or its professional associations, the NMA is now active in these international medical organisations:
WMA - World Medical Association - http://www.wma.net/e/
CPME - Comité Permanent des Médecins Européens/Standing Committee of European Doctors - http://www.cpme.be/
UEMS - Union européenne des médecins spécialistes/European union of medical specialists - http://www.uems.net/
PWG - Permanent Working Group European Junior Doctors -http://www.juniordoctors.eu/pwg/site/
UEMO - European Union of General Practitioners - http://www.uemo.org/
AEMH - European Association of Senior Hospital Physicians/Association Européenne des Médecins des Hôpitaux - http://www.aemh.org/pages/home.html
EMSA - European Medical Students Association - http://www.emsa-europe.org/
EFMA - European Forum of Medical Associations - http://www.euro.who.int/healthcaredelivery/EFMA/efma