MEETING WAS SO LARGE THAT SOME HAD TO BE TURNED AWAY. THEY WERE ABLE TO WATCH THE MEETING, THOUGH, FOR AN OVERFLOW ROOM.>>>WELL, TONIGHT WE CONTINUE WITH OUR SERIES OF REPORTS ON THE QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE IN OTHER COUNTRIES AND HOW THEY COMPARE TO HEALTH CARE IN THIS COUNTRY. TONIGHT, NORWAY. NORWAY RANKED EIGHTH IN A EUROPEAN QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE SURVEY. LIFE EXPECTANCY IN NORWAY IS 80 1/2 YEARS. NORWAY’S UNIVERSAL CARE SYSTEM, THOUGH, IS MOSTLY FUNDED BY PUBLIC MONEY AND THE TAX RATE REFLECTS THAT. NORWAY HAS AN INCOME TAX RATE OF MORE THAN 45%.>>Reporter: IN NORWAY, THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDES UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE TO ALL CITIZENS. BUT A COMMON PROBLEM PATIENTS ENCOUNTER IN SUCH A SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM, LONG WAIT TIMES FOR ELECTED PROCEDURES.>>THE BIG PROBLEM IN NORWAY IS WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN GET THE CARE. WAITING LISTS ARE EXTENSIVE. THEY’VE ACTUALLY PASSED A LAW TO REQUIRE THAT PEOPLE BE EVALUATED WITHIN 30 DAYS.>>Reporter: NORWAY, A WEALTHY COUNTRY OF MORE THAN 4.5 MILLION PEOPLE CAME UP WITH AN INNOVATIVE SOLUTION TO THEIR WAITING PROBLEM.>>THE GOVERNMENT TOOK ACTION. SO THEY WILL ACTUALLY SEND YOU TO SWEDEN OR TWO DENMARK TO GET THAT PROCEDURE DONE IF YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO MIGHT HAVE A LONG WAITING LIST. AND THEY’LL PAY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION FEES AND THINGS LIKE THAT.>>Reporter: THE NORWEGIAN GOVERNMENT WILL ALSO PAY FOR WHATEVER CARE THE DOCTOR DEEMS MEDICALLY NECESSARY. NORWAY SPENDS MORE ON HEALTH CARE PER CAPITA PER PERSON THAN ANY OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRY. AT $4,763, SECOND ONLY TO THE UNITED STATES, WHICH SPENDS $7,290.>>THE IDEA IS THAT EVERYONE PAYS INTO THE NORWEGIAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. AGAIN, EVERYONE GETS COVERED, WITH GENEROUS BENEFITS, AND EVERYONE GETS CARE.>>Reporter: THE GENEROUS BENEFITS INCLUDE FREE HOSPITAL STAYS, FREE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS, AND SICK PAY.>>IF YOU BECOME SICK FOR UP TO A YEAR, THE GOVERNMENT WILL, EFFECTIVELY — AND YOUR EMPLOYER, WILL EFFECTIVELY PAY YOUR SALARY.>>Reporter: HEALTH CARE COSTS CONSUME 8.9% OF GDP VERSUS 16% OF GDP IN THE U.S. THE HEALTH SYSTEM KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL INSURANCE SCHEME, IS FINANCED BY GENERAL TAX REVENUE. NORWEGIANS ALSO PAY A SMALL COPAYMENT FOR OUTPATIENT TREATMENT. PRIVATE INSURANCE DOES NOT PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN NORWAY. 30,000 PEOPLE ARE ESTIMATED TO HAVE SUPPLEMENTAL PRIVATE INSURANCE. MOST PEOPLE IN NORWAY ARE RELATIVELY PLEASED WITH THEIR GENEROUS HEALTH BENEFITS.>>NORWEGIANS ACTUALLY SEEM FAIRLY SATISFIED, OVERALL. THERE ARE FREQUENT COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WAITING LISTS, BUT BY AND LARGE, NORWEGIANS DON’T SEEM TO BE PARTICULARLY INCLINED TO UPROOT OR TO MAKE DRASTIC CHANGES TO THEIR SYSTEM.>>THE NORWEGIAN GOVERNMENT, THOUGH, IS FAIRLY EXPLICIT ABOUT THE FACT THAT IT RATIONS CARE. IT HAS A MEDICAL ETHICS BOARD THAT HAS SUGGESTED THAT MONEY IS BETTER SPENT SERVING