Conference article

Future Hospital Structure in Vest-Agder? Analyzing a Newspaper Debate

Hans Olav Omland
Department of Information Systems, University of Agder, Norway

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Published in: Scandinavian Conference on Health Informatics; August 22; 2014; Grimstad; Norway

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 102:10, p. 69-75

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Published: 2014-08-20

ISBN: 978-91-7519-241-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


The hospital sector in Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder counties in southern Norway is suggested reshaped in a strategic development plan focusing on the hospital structure and supply of health services in year 2030. The proposed strategic development plan has been presented for inhabitants in the counties and much activity has emerged especially in the two communities where today’s hospitals are suggested degraded to lower levels of service. This research analyses the arguments presented in two newspapers through a New Public Management lens using a case study approach. Analysis shows that participants in the debate do not understand or consciously exceeds the limits of what is prescribed in the New Public Management theory. Some politicians suggest scrapping the present form of governing structure for the health sector and making the hospital sector more political. This research therefore questions the debate and the planning process for the hospital structure in Vest-Agder County in 2030 especially why the planning process does not include future development in the e-health domain and the consequences for future location of hospitals in the counties.


e-Health; New Public Management; Technology


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