New Norwegian Public Health Act – institutionalizing action on Social Determinants of Health in Norway

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A newly launched Public Health Act in Norway places reducing health inequalities through action on social determinants of health at the heart of Public Health nationally, regionally and locally.

Norwegian Public Health Act
The new Public Health Act will be introduced in Norway from 1 January 2012. The purpose of this Act is to contribute to societal development that promotes public health and reduces social inequalities in health. Public health work shall promote the population’s health, well-being and good social and environmental conditions, and contribute to the prevention of mental and somatic illnesses, disorders or injuries. 

The Act establishes a new foundation for strengthening systematic public health work in the development of policies and planning for societal development based on regional and local challenges and needs. 

The Act provides a broad basis for the coordination of public health work horizontally across various sectors and actors and vertically between authorities at local, regional and national level. Only by integrating health and its social determinants as an aspect of all social and welfare development through intersectoral action, can good and equitable public health be achieved.

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