School students must return to the doctor to confirm that they are ill. Doctors fear that the certificates for conceited young people go beyond the time they should spend with young people with serious illnesses.
Tight infection control measures and the partial closure of the country meant that few of us had a cold or the flu for a year and a half.
Now society is opening up again and the most important infection control measure is staying home when you are sick.
This also applies to young people in upper secondary school.
At the start of the pandemic, the requirement for a certificate of absence from a physician for upper secondary school students ceased.
The government did not want many to see a doctor with minor ailments. The doctors themselves thought this was a smart solution.
With the community opening on Saturday afternoon, this will tighten up again.
– Students cannot use a parent’s self-declaration or confirmation if there is an absence for health reasons, said Education and Integration Minister Guri Melby.
He noted that the absentee rule is important to ensure school attendance and helps people complete high school.
These are tasks that GPs should stop doing
The two general practitioner associations have opposed since the plan’s introduction. They believe that it has not been documented to lead to less absenteeism.
– This is an unnecessary use of resources and an example of non-clinical tasks that GPs should stop doing, says the leader of the Norwegian Association of General Medicine, Marte Kvittum Tangen.
30 percent increase in doctor visits.
In a report from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health before the pandemic, the NIPH saw a connection between the new rules of absence and several visits to the doctor.
In the fall of 2016, the first semester after the introduction of new regulations for upper secondary school absenteeism, there were 30% more consultations in the general medical service for young people aged 16-18 compared to the fall of 2015.
– The increase in visits to the GP and withdrawal of medicines among 16-18 year olds coincided with the introduction of new absenteeism rules in upper secondary school. We do not observe similar changes for the 15-year-olds. Therefore, it is overwhelmingly likely that the changes are due to the more stringent requirements for documentation of school absences, FHI wrote in the report.
Banal respiratory infections are not important
Marte Kvittum Tangen believes that this clearly shows that the scheme increases the pressure on the primary health service. She says doctors should spend their time helping young people in need.
– One of our most important fundamental values is “to give the maximum to those who need it most”. Testing students for trivial respiratory infections does not improve health.
Aftenposten recently wrote that the National Institute of Public Health fears many people with viral infections in the future. Health Minister Bent Høie reminds everyone that they should be home if they have symptoms of respiratory infections.
– This also applies to all students. Although many have been vaccinated against corona, they will contract other viral infections. When they are home with a cold, they will need a medical certificate documenting the absence, says Kvittum Tangen.
Remember that even with a negative covid test, it is advisable to stay home until you have been fever free for 24 hours. For most people with viral infections, it means the need to stay home for a few days.
– We believe that students over 18 can document the absence themselves and that parents can do it for students under 18, says Kvittum Tangen.
The leader of the Association of General Practitioners, Nils Kristian Klev, is very concerned about the capacity challenges in the GP scheme.
– There is the crisis. We need the capacity we have to provide health care to those who need it.
Klev says that many young people who go to the GP with respiratory infections to obtain a certificate will increase the risk of infection for other patients and for those who work in the doctor’s office.
– Many municipalities are now closing their respiratory clinics and we have not been able to continue with the additional fees that helped us in the beginning of the pandemic, he says.