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However, Australia presents a mixed system of public and private care that presents more choices to those that are ill compared to Norway, which has a predominantly centrally planned state sponsored health system. The Norwegian system presents generous support to those who are ill, but long waiting lists for procedures exist despite a higher number of physicians per 100,000 population. Norway presents very limited patient choice and say. Australians have a guarantee of healthcare, no matter how expensive it becomes, and can decide about the quality of care that they receive by selecting their contributions to Medicare or private healthcare schemes. However, in Norway, the GP assigned to a patient decides about what the system will offer to a patient, and it is not easy to change the GP. Longer waiting lists and a lack of advanced diagnostic techniques, including use of MRI and CT scanning, points to a certain rationing and a lack of sophistication in the Norwegian system, despite its generous support for those that are ill. Access to drugs is better in the Australian system.
Although the year 2000 WHO Health Report ranked Norway higher than Australia in terms of the performance of its health system, this report is now a decade old. The latest OECD Frequently Requested Healthcare Data points to the fact that the Australian healthcare system is now performing better and offering more choices to those who are ill with shorter waiting lists and access to more sophisticated diagnostic procedures compared to Norway. Life expectancy is higher in Australia, with a lower figure for Potential Years of Life Lost for the population, and the Australian system offers better pharmaceutical / drug assistance. It is certain that economic constraints have forced choices, and the Norwegian healthcare system has had to try to optimise. Thus, although it is likely that things will improve with the development of a parallel private healthcare system in Norway,
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