Norway's Initial Report

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Article 26 Habilitation and rehabilitation

241. Pursuant to the Health and Care Services Act, responsibility for offering social, psychosocial and medical habilitation and rehabilitation has been imposed on the municipalities. In the care services, rehabilitation of everyday function with the aid of home care personnel is an example of early efforts to contribute to enhancing the user’s quality of life and functional ability. The Government aims to submit an escalation plan for habilitation and rehabilitation. The plan will focus primarily on the municipal sector.

242. The municipality is required to provide a coordinator for patients and users with a need for long-term, coordinated services pursuant to the Health and Care Services Act. The coordinator shall arrange for the necessary follow-up of the individual patient or user, and to ensure coordination of the services and progress of the work on an individual plan. The municipality must offer a coordinator to the users in question, even if they do not want an individual plan, and have a coordinating unit for habilitation and rehabilitation activities. This unit must have ultimate responsibility for the work with individual plans, and for appointing, training and guiding coordinators.


243. In addition to regulatory measures to ensure persons with disabilities of good, customised healthcare services, it is important for Norwegian authorities to focus on challenges, resources and possibilities rather than problems and limitations. Many programmes have been launched to promote coping and participating in social and working life, such as measures under the action plan for work and mental health, the programme Raskere tilbake [Back to work faster] and the grant scheme for competence and innovation. The grant scheme is intended to foster the development of new measures and methods that contribute to a greater degree of self-mastery and rehabilitation, including rehabilitation of everyday function.

244. Under the Specialist Health Service Act, the state has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the population at large has the necessary specialist health service. The regional health authorities must ensure that persons with a fixed home or place of residence within the region are offered specialist health services both inside and outside institutions. Regulations relating to habilitation and rehabilitation, individual plans and coordinators have been adopted. These regulations set out the tasks that entail facilitation.
245. The Office of the Auditor General has conducted a survey of rehabilitation in the health service. The survey was followed up in the white paper on the primary health service (2014–2015). The white paper provides an account of rehabilitation, the organisation of the area, deficiencies in the municipalities and proposed measures. The survey will also be followed up in the National Health and Hospital Plan, which will be submitted by the end of 2015. In 2015, the Directorate of Health is also to prepare guidelines highlighting good examples of organisation in the field of rehabilitation. It is also intended to draw up an escalation plan specifically for the field of rehabilitation.
246. Grants can be made through the National Insurance Act for training courses for the hearing- and visually impaired and for deaf-blind persons designed to strengthen their ability to be self-reliant in daily or working life.

Article 27 Work and employment

247. Pursuant to Article 110 of the Constitution, the state must create conditions under which every person capable of work is able to earn a living through their work or enterprise. Those who cannot provide for their own subsistence have the right to support from the state.

248. In Norway we have a general labour market policy that applies to everyone. Efforts to get persons with disabilities into employment form a part of this general labour market and working life policy. Labour market policy is a state responsibility and is administered by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, which is responsible for establishing labour market programmes designed to help people enter employment. In Norway we distinguish primarily between efforts targeting the unemployed and efforts targeting persons with reduced capacity to work. The latter have access to a more extensive range of services. Efforts targeting persons with a reduced capacity to work also cover persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities have the same right to labour market programmes as others, and as a group they receive priority. They are also entitled to various measures such as adaptation of the workplace. This group is also entitled to targeted measures designed to supplement the general labour market programmes, such as necessary assistive technologies. Combined with adaptation and close follow-up, the time-limited wage subsidies have proved effective for helping persons with disabilities to enter the ordinary labour market. The Government wants a simpler, more effective system of measures tailored to users' needs for support, and will simplify the system by combining overlapping measures. The proposals will facilitate more flexible and efficient use of resources. This represents an important contribution to offering improved labour market measures for more people, increasing throughput, and increasing the level of transition to the labour market.
249. A new right to temporary employment for 12 months on a general basis has been introduced, aimed particularly at facilitating access to the labour market for groups which employers may consider in terms of the risk associated with employing them. The amendment will offer more people the opportunity to enter the labour market, and may prove highly significant for the newly qualified, recently arrived immigrants, and people with disabilities. This may help to prevent permanent exclusion from the labour market.
250. The employment rate among women and men with disabilities is around 43 per cent. The employment rate in the population as a whole is about 74 per cent. The difference in employment rates between persons with disabilities and the general population is least among the youngest (about 13 per cent) and greatest in the age group 40–59 years (about 38 per cent).

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