About CAM in Norway

Collage of acupuncture needles, ginger, curcumin and blood test.
Collage made by NAFKAM.

The aim of this article is to provide you with information on the Act that applies to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Norway.

What is considered CAM in Norway?

“Alternative treatment is understood to mean health-related treatment which is practised outside the established health services and which is not practised by authorised health personnel. However, treatment practised within the scope of the established health services or by authorised health personnel is also  covered by the term alternative treatment when the methods used are essentially methods that are used outside the established health services.”
(Act No. 64 of 27 June 2003)

NB! Patients’ self care with health products and self-help techniques may also be considered as use of CAM, when the intention of use deviates from standard medical procedures.

What is not covered by the Norwegian Act on CAM?

  • Good Advice: There is a lower limit to the scope of the Act, so that the law does not cover «good advice» («kjerringråd») between e.g family and friends.
  • Not mainly aiming to cure, relieve or prevent health problems: Services that mainly focus on personal self-development, well-being, beauty care and the like, fall outside the Act and the definition of what is considered CAM in Norway.
  • Faith and Prayer: Common religious activities fall outside the terms of the Act, including prayer for the sick and the like. In cases of judgment, this may include whether the service is paid for, whether the service is marketed as health-related and if it promises or claims of cure are given.

Further reading:


Norway's National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine

We work to give you facts about complementary and alternative medicine, so that you can make safer choices for your health.

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