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56 people in medical field lost their licenses

A record many doctors and other medical personnel lost their licenses in Norway last year. Most common reasons are personal and drug problems.

56 people lost their licenses to practice in the medical field last year compared to 40 in 2002.

21 of 28 nurses lost their licenses because of accusations of drug abuse. Four persons within the health sector lost their license because of taking advantage of a patient sexually, while two doctors, one State Enrolled Nurse and one physiotherapist lost their licenses because of their own health condition, according to the Norwegian Board of Health.

The Board of Health investigated 172 cases in 2003, and two of three cases received a reaction. 59 persons in the medical field got a warning, and of them 37 were doctors. The main reason why these doctors received warnings was unjustifiable patient treatment.

The Board of Health has sent 10 reports to the police because of possible criminal incidents.

«The cases have increased and become more serious the last couple of years, and this is mirrored in the reactions the Board gives medical personnel, like more people loose their license,» said Lars E Hanssen, health director.

Hanssen said he thinks there are large unreported numbers of drug abuse among doctors and nurses.

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