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State Aid

State Aid: Norway must change the financing of public dental health care services

12.3.2014

PR(14)16

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has today proposed certain measures to Norway in order to bring the financing of its public dental health care services in line with the state aid provisions of the EEA Agreement.

The Norwegian authorities have until 14 April 2014 to decide whether to accept the measures proposed by the Authority.

In Norway, public dental health care services are provided for free to children, youth, the elderly, the long term ill and handicapped in institutions or home care, as well as the mentally handicapped. Furthermore, rebated dental care services are provided to adults in sparsely populated areas with insufficient dentist coverage. The public dental health care services are also free to sell dental services to anyone.

Today's decision concerns the rebated services in sparsely populated areas and the services provided on the market, in competition with other providers. The Authority has found that the current system of financing may lead to cross-subsidisation of these activities.

The Authority has concluded that the potential cross-subsidies constitute state aid which is not compatible with the EEA Agreement since it may affect competition and trade within the EEA.

The Authority has proposed that the Norwegian authorities clearly identify the sparsely populated regions where subsidies are needed to make dental health care affordable and to introduce a system of account separation to ensure that public funds are not used to provide the public dental health care service with a competition-distorting advantage.

A non-confidential version of today's Decision will be published in the register of state aid decisions on the Authority's website, normally within a month.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

 




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