The first bye-laws were adopted by the 1st General Meeting of Physicians in 1886. New bye-laws were then adopted at the 20th Annual General Meeting in 1924 and at the 29th Annual General Meeting in 1947, with intermediate and subsequent amendments adopted by the Representative Body.
Chapter 1 – Name, objects and organisation
(1) The name of the association is the Norwegian Medical Association (hereinafter also called ‘the Association’).
(2) The abbreviated form ‘Medical Association’ and the initials ‘NMA’ may be used.
The objects of the Association are:
1. to promote high standards of professional skills and ethics among the members of the
2. to unite all doctors and medical students in promoting collegiate and mutual
professional, social and financial interests
3. to safeguard the mental and physical health of the members
4. to promote quality in medical education og medical development of the medical profession
5. to promote medical science, including medical research and ethical principes in medical research
6. to promote public health measures
7. to address health policy issues
The bodies of the Association are:
1. Representative Body
2. Executive Committee
a) Local branches
b) Occupational branches
c) Medical specialty societies
d) Norwegian Association of Medical Students
4. Regional committees
5. Special branches
The bodies of the Norwegian Medical Association shall strive in their activities for the greatest possible transparency and availability in relation to their members and to the general public.
In order to promote the issues and objectives ensuing from the objects of the association (cf. § 1-2), the Association may be affiliated with other organisations as a member, including a confederation of professional unions, with the obligations membership entails. Decisions regarding membership are taken by the Representative Body.
(1) The bodies of the Association shall work for their objectives in accordance with the distribution of roles, functions and responsibilities drawn up in these bye-laws. At the same time, each individual body is assumed to be an integral part of the Association as an overarching organisation and to work for common goals.
(2) The Executive Committee and the boards of divisions and special branches shall ensure that sufficient information about their own adopted goals, strategies and actions is available internally through appropriate media. Similarly, each individual body of the Association is expected to remain reasonably well informed about the activities of other bodies by means of this information.
(3) The Secretariat shall promote open flow of information between the various parts of the Association and assist the bodies of the Association technically and with information services.
(4) Conflicts of interest between bodies of the Association that cannot be resolved amicably shall be reported to the Executive Committee, which will resolve the conflict with binding effect until it is brought before the Representative Body, if this proves necessary.
(5) When bodies of the Association address themselves to the general public, they shall as far as possible avoid revealing any internal conflicts of interest. In the event of doubt, the Association centrally shall be informed.
Chapter 2 - Membership
(1) Norwegian citizens with a medical degree or who are studying medicine, and others with a medical degree or who are medical students who live, work or study medicine in Norway,
may become members of the Norwegian Medical Association. Foreign nationals with a special affiliation with Norway who are studying medicine abroad may be accepted as members after special assessment by the Executive Committee.
(2) Applications shall be sent to the Secretariat, with a statement that the applicant accepts the bye-laws and other rules of the Association.
(3) The Executive Committee can refuse membership if the applicant has infringed the byelaws or rules of the Association or displayed unfitting conduct.
The Representative Body can elect as an honorary member any person to whom the Association particularly wishes to pay tribute.
(1) Doctor members are registered in divisions according to their occupation (primary) and place of work. Approved specialists are registered in Medical specialty societies according to their specialisation. Other doctors decide themselves whether they wish to be affiliated with a Medical specialty societie, with the exception of members with a primary doctor agreement, who must join Medical specialty societies in accordance with the rules in § 3-6-1, 4th and 5th paragraphs.
(2) Medical students are registered in the Norwegian Medical Students Association.
Members have the following rights and obligations:
1. Members may use the initials MNMA (Member of the Norwegian Medical Association).
2. Members receive a subscription to the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association as a benefit of their membership.
3. The Association’s activities and offers are open to all members unless otherwise decided in the individual case.
4. In professional matters, members have a right to individual assistance from elected representatives and/or the Association’s Secretariat.
5. Members undertake to abide by agreements and decisions that have been made by the Association’s bodies in compliance with the bye-laws and rules of the Association.
(1) A member who has not paid the mandatory subscription will cease to be a member of the Association. Notice shall be given in writing before actual termination of membership takes place. In the event of re-admission, any membership arrears must be paid.
(2) Termination of membership immediately before or during a labour dispute, as a result of such dispute, will not be accepted.
(3) Resignation from the Association must be communicated in writing.
(1) If a member has behaved in a manner that is in conflict with the objectives of the Association or detrimental to the repute of the Association or has infringed the bye-laws or rules of the Association or displayed unfitting conduct, the Executive Committee may reprimand the member. In serious cases, where a member has conducted himself or herself in manner that is unfitting for a member of the Association, the Executive Committee may exclude the member.
(2) Revocation, suspension or voluntary renouncement of a doctor’s licence, or a temporary decision on loss of a study place for a medical student, does not provide automatic grounds for exclusion. Doctors’ loss of licence on turning 75 does not affect their membership of the Medical Association.
(3) A decision regarding a reprimand or exclusion requires an 8/9 majority.
(4) The Representative Body may with a ¾ majority of members with voting rights adopt a decision for exclusion on the same grounds as the Executive Committee when the case is sent to the Secretariat at least 3 months before the meeting.
(5) The member shall have had the opportunity to make a statement in the case, and written grounds shall be provided for the reprimand or exclusion.
(6) Expulsion may be limited to a given number of years, after which the person who has been excluded may on application be re-admitted as a member. A decision on the application is taken by the Executive Committee, which stipulates in more detail the conditions for readmission. If a person has been excluded indefinitely, the Representative Body may on application terminate the exclusion, but no earlier than five years after it took place.
Chapter 3 – Bodies of the Association
(1) The Representative Body consists of the Executive Committee, representatives of divisions, regional commitees and representatives of the special branch, the Association of Retired Doctors.
(2) The Representative Body is elected for two-year periods, and terms of office begin on 1 September in odd-numbered years.
(3) The divisions, regional commities and the Association of Retired Doctors shall have the following representation:
1. Local branches are represented by their chairperson and one representative for each 2000 members or part thereof in excess of 2000 members.
2. Regional committee is represented by its chairperson. If this person is chairperson of the local branch, a new representative from the local branch shall be elected to the Representative Body.
3. Occupational branches elect one representative per 1000 members or part thereof.
4. In addition, the occupational branches elect a total of 50 representatives from the local branches. The internal distribution of these representatives depends on the proportion of the Association members in the individual professional branch. The distribution shall be reported to the Executive Committee by 1 February in years that end in odd numbers. All professional branches shall be represented by at least one member. Election shall take place according to the rules in § 3-5-4, 1st paragraph.
5. Medical specialty societies shall elect a total of 20 representatives. The specialist representatives shall be elected according to the procedure described in § 3-6-4, paragraphs 4 to 7.
6. The Association of Norwegian Medical Students shall elect six representatives.
7. The Association of Retired Doctors shall elect two representatives.
(4) The term ‘member’ in the third paragraph, points 1-3, means members of the divisions who are mandatory members, including members who have retired with an old-age or disability pension.
(5) Deputies shall be elected for each group, as a general rule in ranked order. More deputies than permanent representatives may be elected.
(6) If a representative steps down from the body he/she represents during the period, the representative in question automatically withdraws from the Representative Body and a deputy steps in, if necessary after a supplementary election/appointment.
(7) If a Representative Body member who represents a division takes office in the Executive Committee, a deputy from the division in question shall step into the place on the Representative Body of the member in question.
(8) The Executive Committee deputies, the members of the Election Committee and the decisors take part in the negotiations of the Representative Body without voting rights if they are not elected members of the Representative Body.
(1) The Representative Body is convened by the Executive Committee and presided over by elected chairpersons. Ordinary General Meetings of the Representative Body are held each year before the end of May. The Ordinary General Meeting of the Representative Body shall be called with at least 1 month's notice. Other meetings shall be held when the Executive Committee deems it necessary or when at least one third of all members of the Representative Body require it. The Representative Body has a quorum when at least half of the members are present.
(2) The Representative Body can in special cases, pursuant to a decision by the Executive Committee, use written or electronic processing to resolve issues. At least half of the members of the Representative Body must have voted. If at least ¼ of the members of the Representative Body require, the matter shall be handled in a meeting.
(3) If required by more than one third of all members of the Representative Body, a matter shall be decided by a written vote (ballot) of the Association's members. Before a ballot is held, the matter shall be debated by the divisions and the Association of Retired Doctors.
Ballot papers shall be sent to the Secretariat. The Executive Committee decides in each case when voting must be completed. The matter is then decided by a simple majority.
(4) Meetings of the Representative Body are open to members of the Association. The media have access except in such special cases as decided by the Representative Body.
(5) Matters to be taken up must be submitted to the Secretariat at least three months before the meeting. The Executive Committee may in special cases grant dispensation from this time limit. The Representative Body may in exceptional cases resolve to deal with matters that are submitted later.
(6) The President opens the meeting and presides over the election of chairpersons.
(7) The Representative Body sets its own agenda, in which the following shall be observed:
1. Decision on who is to chair the meeting
2. Decision on editorial committee
3. Matters shall be voted upon as and when they are dealt with unless a member of the Representative Body requests that an editorial committee elected at the meeting should edit and table motions and/or requests information about and a recommendation regarding a resolution from the Executive Committee.
4. Motions are passed by simple majority, unless otherwise stipulated in these bye-laws. In the case of a tied vote, the President has a casting vote.
5. A member of the Representative Body must not be bound by a promise to his or her division or by instructions from any division, to adopt a particular position on an issue to be dealt with.
6. All members of the Representative Body attending meetings must take part in votes.
However, members of the Executive Committee dot not have a vote in matters concerning the annual report and accounts.
7. At elections to the Executive Committee and other bodies elected by the Representative Body, as many names shall be entered on the ballot paper as there are vacant places to be filled. Only names put forward by the Election Committee or by a member of the Representative Body at the Annual Representative Meeting, and which have not been withdrawn by the proposer before the conclusion of nominations, shall be entered on the ballot paper.
Candidates must have been asked to stand and given their consent before being nominated.
(8) Sound recordings shall be made of the proceedings of the Representative Body. A transcript shall be made of the recording, and distributed to those members of the Representative Body and divisions that request it.
(9) Minutes of resolutions from Representative Body proceedings containing resolutions and motions that have been defeated or rejected shall be promptly published.
(1) The business of Annual General Meetings of the Representative Body (Annual Representative Meetings) is to deal with:
1. The Executive Committee’s report on the Association’s activities in the previous calendar year.
2. The Executive Committee’s proposed
a) rolling programme on matters of principle
b) plan of action for the next 2 years
3. Accounts under the Representative Body’s approval authority
4. Budget for the coming year, including
a) membership fees and application of fees (cf. § 4-3)
b) fees and remuneration to the Executive Committee
c) rates for remuneration of other elected representatives
d) financial powers of the Executive Committee
5. Deciding where the next Annual Representative Meetings are to be held
6. Matters that according to the bye-laws and other rules shall be dealt with by the Representative Body
7. Election of the President, Vice-President, other key members of the Executive Committee and deputies. When more than one candidate is proposed, a ballot shall be held.
8. Election of the Election Committee.
9. Election of auditor, when a motion for this has been proposed.
10. Election of decisors commitee.
11. Election of members to committees which, according to the rules of the Association, shall be elected by the Representative Body, including members of the Board of the Sickness Assistance and Pension Scheme (SOP).
(2) Points 2, 7, 8 and 10 in the first paragraph are dealt with by the Representative Body in years ending in odd numbers.
(1) The Executive Committee consists of 9 members: the President of the Association, the Vice-President and seven other members.
(2) The term of office is two years, commencing on 1 September. An absolute majority of those entitled to vote is required to elect a president. If a second ballot fails to produce an absolute majority, a ballot shall be held between the two candidates who have received the most votes. In the case of a tie, lots shall be drawn. The Vice-President is elected according to the same rules as apply to the President.
(3) A relative majority is required to elect the other seven Executive Committee members and three deputies (cf. § 3-1-2, 7th paragraph point 7.
(4) Deputies are elected in ranked order for the eventuality of members being absent for periods that are extended or expected to be extended (three months or more). If one or more deputies assumes a permanent position on the Executive Committee, a corresponding number of new deputies shall be elected at the first Ordinary General Meeting of the Representative Body.
(5) Members may be re-elected, but the President and Vice-President may only be re-elected twice. The maximum continuous term of office on the Executive Committee is eight years.
Terms as President or Vice-President are not counted as part of this period.
(6) Preparations for the election of Executive Committee members and deputies are made by an Election Committee of three members who are elected by the Representative Body for the Representative Body period (cf. § 3-1-1, 2nd paragraph). Members may not be members of the Executive Committee at the same time.
(1) The Executive Committee meets as often as is necessary to deal with the matters brought before it, or when required to do so by the President or two members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee has a quorum when six members of the Board are present. In the case of a tied vote, the President has a casting vote.
(2) Approved minutes of Executive Committee meetings shall be published as soon as possible. The Executive Committee may decide that some resolutions shall be confidential and/or not for public disclosure.
(1) The Executive Committee is responsible to the Representative Body and has the following duties:
1. to further the objects of the Association by paying attention to all matters of interest to the Association and its members;
2. to lead the Association’s activities, deal with matters which, pursuant to § 4-1, point 4 are not decided by the Secretariat, manage the Association’s assets, prepare a draft budget and exercise financial powers conferred by the Representative Body (see § 3-1- 3, 1st paragraph, point 4d).
3. to present an annual report and submit accounts audited by a chartered accountant to the Representative Body;
4. to appoint a General Secretary and determine the General Secretary’s remuneration and other conditions of service. The Executive Committee sets out instructions for the General Secretary and the Secretariat. A member of the Executive Body who applies for the post of General Secretary must resign from his office. A retiring President cannot apply for the post of General Secretary for the first two years after the end of his presidency.
5. to enter into collective agreements on income and working conditions etc. with the authorities and employers. In this connection, the Executive Committee is empowered to give collective notice of termination of employment and if relevant initiate walkouts and picketing.
(2) Executive Committee resolutions may be appealed to the Representative Body. This does not apply to resolutions adopted pursuant to the first paragraph, point 5.
(1) The President is the highest officer of the Association and the chairperson of the Executive Committee and has a duty to maintain regular contact with the leadership of the Secretariat and to take charge of processes relating to the professional, health and occupational interests of the Association’s members vis-à-vis the public authorities, including leading or delegating to others the leading of wage negotiations with main counterparties.
(2) Should the need arise, the President can convene the Executive Committee (cf. § 3-2-2, 1st paragraph), and standing committees charged with safeguarding the members’ interests. He or she may attend all meetings of the Norwegian Medical Association. The President may request the assistance of the Secretariat in the discharge of his duties (cf. § 4-1, point 5).
(3) The Vice-President takes over the office of the President in cases of his or her absence. In the event of extended absence of the Vice-President, the Executive Committee shall elect a new Vice-President from among its members.
(1) The divisions consist of members subject to mandatory registration, including members who have retired with an old-age or disability pension, and voluntary and affiliated members.
The Norwegian Medical Association maintains membership registers for the divisions.
(2) The divisions are organisationally subject to the Representative Body and the Executive Committee, but have autonomy in matters relating to their particular objectives of a local, occupational or professional nature, unless otherwise stipulated in these bye-laws.
(3) The Executive Committee approves the bye-laws and amendments to the bye-laws. The Executive Committee may delegate the approval of bye-law amendments to the Secretariat.
(1) The highest body of the divisions is the Annual General Meeting, which is open to members. The media have access except in such special cases as the Annual General Meeting may decide. Professional branches or specialty societies may have a representative National Council as the highest body.
(2) The Annual General Meeting/National Council is convened by the Board. It adopts the division’s bye-laws within the framework of the Association’s bye-laws and adopts a position on the Board’s report, the audited accounts, the proposed budget and other matters that have been tabled by members or moved by the Board.
(3) The Annual General Meeting/National Council fixes any remuneration to the head of the division and other Board members, such as remuneration for meetings and compensation for loss of income in connection with business in the service of the association.
(4) The Annual General Meeting/National Council holds the elections ensuing from the division’s bye-laws, including an Election Committee of at least 3 members, an auditor and possibly decisor, and the division’s representative(s) and deputy(s) to the Representative Body. If a Course Committee is established, it shall report to the Board of the division.
(5) Records are kept of the resolutions of the Annual General Meeting/National Council.
(1) The day-to-day management of divisions is conducted by a Board which is accountable to the Annual General Meeting/National Council and the Norwegian Medical Association’s Representative Body and Executive Committee.
(2) The composition of the boards is laid down in the voting rules (cf. § 3-3-3) and in special rules for the different types of division (cf. § 3-4-2, 3-5-2, 3-6-2 and 3-7-3).
(3) A board has a quorum when at least half of the members are present. In the event of a tied vote, the chairperson has a casting vote.
(4) The chairperson leads the work of the Board and calls Board meetings.
(5) The chairperson signs for the association. The chairperson or another member of the Board who is given the right of use of the association’s resources shall have this right described and verified by other Board members. The vice-chairperson takes over the chairperson’s duties in the absence of the latter. In the event of extended absence of the chairperson, the deputy chair assumes the office of chairperson. The Board elects a new deputy chair from among the Board members.
(6) In the event of extended absence of a Board member, deputies step in in the order in which they have been elected.
(1) The following rules can be supplemented as necessary by rules adopted at the Annual General Meeting/National Council of the individual association.
(2) Elections are held in years that end in odd numbers. The term of office follows the Representative Body period (cf. § 3-1-1, 2nd paragraph). The Norwegian Medical Students’ Association and the specialty societies can stipulate a different term of office in their bye-laws.
(3) Chairpersons are voted for separately, and shall receive more than half of the votes of those at the electoral meeting who are entitled to vote. If a second ballot fails to produce such a majority, a ballot shall be held between the two candidates who have received the most votes. Elections to other offices are decided by simple/relative majority. In the event of a tied vote, lots shall be drawn.
(4) Elections takes place according to thefollowing rules:
1. To the board of a division, the occupational branches and the Norwegian Medical Students’ Association elect one member and one deputy pursuant to, respectively, § 3- 4-2 and § 3-7-3, 1st paragraph, third sentence.
2. As far as possible, members from all health regions shall be elected to the boards of professional branches.
3. As far as possible, members from all health regions shall be elected to the boards of medical specialty societies, and at least one member should preferably be a doctor in specialist training.
All ordinary members, both specialists and doctors without specialist training, who is registered or have chosen membership in another medical specialty society, is eligible as chairperson, deputy or member of the board. The same applies to other offices of the association.
4. If decided by the division, deputy chairpersons may be elected at the Annual General Meeting or elected by and from among the Board members. A secretary and treasurer may also be elected.
(1) The fee for membership in the Norwegian Medical Association also includes membership in the divisions.
(2) Pursuant to § 4-3, a division has a right to a share of the Association’s subscription revenues to finance its activities. The financial situation may, within the framework of the rules of the Association, be bolstered by revenues from courses, other relevant arrangements and collaborative commercial measures. Accounts shall be kept of all revenues and expenditure. Accounts shall be submitted to the Association after approval by the Annual General Meeting/National Council meeting.
(3) Divisional boards are authorised by the Association to have submitted to them all important matters that relate in particular tothe members of the division, and have the right to make a statement, also verbally, to the Executive Committee at the meeting at which such a case is dealt with.
(1) The area and name of local branch shall be approved by the Executive Committee.
Local branches that were established as county divisions under the bye-laws as at 31 August 2005 remain so until further notice.
(2) Local branches that find it expedient for their work for the association, may with the consent of the Executive Committee, adjust their boundaries or merge into larger associations.
The Executive Committee stipulates rules for dealing with the associations’ assets.
(3) If one-third of the members of the Representative Body so require, it may be required that the matter of changing the subdivision of local branches shall be decided by ballot by the members of the local branches concerned. The Executive Committee can initiate such a ballot.
(4) Doctors who are members of the Association shall be distributed among approved local branches according to the location of their place of work. A member may on application to the Executive Committee be granted membership in a different local branch from the one dictated by his or her place of work. The power of decision may be delegated to the Secretariat.
(1) The Board consists of the chairperson and 2 members with deputies in ranked order who are elected by the Annual General Meeting. Other members consist of a Board member with personal deputy for each of the occupational branches and the Norwegian Medical Students Association, to be appointed by the individual occupational branch/Medical Students Association with members in the area of the local branch. These Board members are elected as local union representatives according to rules laid down by the Annual General Meeting/National Council of the individual association.
(2) The election rules are set out in § 3-3-3.
(3) The Annual General Meeting shall be the highest body of the local branch.
(1) The local branch shall promote the objects of the Association in the area by fostering the fellowship among the doctors and shall work for their common interests by:
1. engaging in local health policy in the area and in the health region and working for appropriate organisation of the health service as a whole.
2. having overarching responsibility for ensuring that local work on income and working conditions is satisfactorily taken charge of in collaboration with the professional branches. The local branches shall provide practical assistance to the occupational branches in connection with their election of representatives and training, and meet the expenses the representatives incur in discharging their function. Allocations to this item shall be shown in the budget.
3. caring for, and providing assistance to individual members, among other things by seeing to the organisation of support for colleagues and the running of health programmes for doctors.
4. running relevant courses and other training activities
5. promoting collegiality and fellowship among members, including pensioner members, in the area through meetings and other professional and social gatherings.
6. resolving local disputes between members and counterparties and between members.
7. The local branch elects members to the association’s Continuing Medical Education Committee. The term of office of the individual member is 4 years. Elections shall be organised such that half of the committee members are up for election every second year. The Continuing Medical Education Committee should have members from both general practice and the specialist health service.
(2) Local branches within one and the same region may agree to collaborate on the aforementioned tasks.
(3) The Representative Body may lay down supplementary provisions regarding the objects, responsibilities and duties of the local branches.
(4) Where health enterprise areas in the specialist health service are distributed among a number of local branches, the local branches undertake to cooperate on financial and practical support to the union representatives in affected enterprises. Responsibility shall be regulated by mutual agreement, which shall be approved by the Executive Committee.
Local branches shall hold meetings that are open to all members at least once a year. The Board schedules the meetings and sets the agenda. Members’ meetings or extraordinary general meetings shall also be held if required by at least one third or at least 100 of the members.
(1) The Board of a local branch is a link between the Executive Committee/Secretariat and the individual members and shall, when appropriate, see to it that elected representatives and members abide by the provisions of the association’s bye-laws and agreements to which the Association is a party, centrally or locally.
(2) The Board has the right to make statements to the public on matters within its sphere of activity.
(3) Unless special considerations dictate otherwise, the Board shall be open regarding its affairs in relation to the media in local communities and provide information about and promote the local branch and its members (cf. also § 1-4 and § 3-3-1, 1st paragraph).
(1) The Representative Body shall approve occupational branches.
(2) Physician members are distributed according to the nature of their occupation to the approved occupational branch that primarily represents that member’s union interests. The Executive Committee lays down more detailed guidelines for the distribution of members.
(3) Any doubt as to which occupational branch a member belongs to shall be decided by the Executive Committee, which may also, on application, grant membership to a occupational branch other than the one the doctor concerned primarily belongs to according to the Executive Committee guidelines.
(4) The occupational branches may grant affiliate membership (non-voting) to a member of another occupational branch.
(5) Membership of a occupational branch is retained during temporary service of up to 12months in a position/function which according to the general rule in paragraph 2 qualifies for a change of occupational branch.
(1) Occupational branches shall hold an Annual General Meeting and/or meeting of a representative National Council which carries out the normal functions of an Annual General Meeting (cf. § 3-3-1). The Representative Body consists of representatives from each of the regions, elected according to the association’s own rules.
(2) The Board consists of a chairperson and at least 4 Board members.
(3) The election rules are set out in § 3-3-3.
(1) The occupational branches shall promote the objects of the Association and work in particular for satisfactory framework conditions for their members’ practice of their professions.
(2) The Representative Body may lay down supplementary provisions regarding the objects, responsibilities and duties of the occupational branches.
(3) The occupational branches are responsible for recruiting and electing representatives who represent the members in relation to their employers and other counterparties to agreements.
Union representatives for doctors who are employees are elected at the place of work pursuant to the basic agreements between employer and employee organisations for the various collective wage bargaining areas (cf. also separate instructions for union representatives laid down by the Executive Committee). For self-employed doctors who are not covered by a basic agreement or similar, representatives are elected in municipalities and health enterprise regions pursuant to the Executive Committee’s instructions. Occupational branches may request practical assistance from the local branches to hold these elections.
(4) In order to ensure the possibility of continuous representation in elected offices in a local branch, their own National Council and the Association’s Representative Body, the Board of a occupational branch may decide that a representative who has not expressly reserved himself or herself, shall also stand for election or be co-opted as union representative in the occupational branch.
(5) Locally/regionally the occupational branches shall take part in the formation ofthe boards of the Association’s local organisations and regional committees through their elected and union representatives.
(6) The occupational branch is responsible for ensuring that the local elected representatives keep the Board of the local branch informed of all important issues within the area of responsibility of the representatives and ensure that their needs with respect to coverage of expenses associated with the elected office are reported to the local branch.
(7) The work of the occupational branches for members occupational interests is directed internally at the Executive Committee/Representative Body, regional committees and local branches, and externally through elected representatives in relation to the employers/agreement counterparties of the members. The occupational branch in collaboration with the Executive Committee/Secretariat has a special responsibility for training elected representatives within the member group.
(1) The Annual General Meeting/National Council of a occupational branch arranges for the election of the occupational branches’ geographical representation on the Association’s Representative Body. The number of geographical representatives depends on the occupational branch’s share of the total number of members in the Association and must be notified to the Executive Committee by 1 February of years ending in odd numbers (see § 3- 1-1 3rd paragraph, point 3). Representatives shall as far as possible be elected from all health regions, and such that occupational branches with more than 5 geographical representatives distribute these representatives regionally according to membership numbers. Where a local organisation is divided between two health regions, the occupational branches undertake to adapt their combined representation to ensure a geographical distribution. The representatives are elected among the union representatives who, according to the principle of continuous representation, have been elected to offices in the local branch. In anticipation of a personal election, the Annual General Meeting/ National Council may decide that a specific office should be added to the representation on the Representative Body. Representatives should hold offices as shop steward or similar in a municipality, health enterprise etc. Deputies shall be elected in ranked order.
(2) The Annual General Meeting/National Council may for special purposes fix a supplementary subscription fee for the members of the occupational branch with an upper limit of 10 % of the subscription fee of the Association.
(3) The occupational branch has the right:
1. to represent the members on the councils and committees of the Association that work for members’ financial interests and relevant health policy where the occupational branch is granted such representation.
2. to make public statements on matters concerning the practice of their profession and financial or health policy issues within the fields of interest of the individual occupational branches. As far as possible, such moves must be discussed with the Association centrally.
(4) Occupational branches take part in international work on behalf of their members.
(5) Occupational branches must be physically located with the Association and undertake to comply with the guidelines for administrative assistance and efficient use of shared Association resources, which are issued by the Executive Committee and/or the Representative Body. Internal agreements shall be made between the occupational branches and the General Secretary on financial settlement for Secretariat assistance etc.
(1) An approved medical specialty society shall be established for each of the approved specialisations. Approval is conferred by the Executive Committee.
(2) In order to be approved as a specialty society, it is required that the society’s articles are not in conflict with the bye-laws of the Association, and that the objects of the society are professional or scientific. Only members of the Association may be elected to the Board and may vote.
(3) Members of the Association who are approved as specialists in one or more approved medical specialisations (main and/or branch specialities) are registered in a medical specialty society. Members with approval in one or more branch specialties are registered in both the medical specialty society of their primary specialisation and in the medical specialty society of the branch specialisation that is most relevant to their work. Members with more than one main specialist training choose which main medical specialty society they wish to belong to.
Members who are approved as specialists in one or more subject areas, but under specialist training in a new field, can choose medical specialty society for this field. Specialists in general surgery or internal medicine who are not branch specialists may also be registered in a medical specialty society.
(4) Members who are not specialists are free to enrol in a medical specialty society that is relevant to their work without separate cost. Members who, although not specialists, work within branch specialty fields, may enrol in the medical specialty society of their main specialty and the society for the branch specialty in question.
(5) Irrespective of the above rules, members with a primary doctor agreement (both specialists and general practitioners) shall be enrolled in the medical specialty society for general practice. The exceptions are doctors in positions that combine general practice, public health work or occupassional health medicine. They may choose between the medical specialty societies for general practice, public health or occupassional health medicine.
(6) For a fixed subscription fee, members of the Association who wish for membership in a medical specialty society other than the one(s) that primarily follow from the duty/right of professional membership, will be accepted as affiliated members. The same applies to persons with a professional affinity with the society’s field of specialisation, but who have a different, non-medical educational background. Doctors who choose not to be members of the Association cannot be affiliated members of a medical specialty society.
(1) The Board of a medical specialty society consists of a chairperson and at least 4 Board members. Deputies shall be elected in ranked order. The election rules are set out in § 3-3-3.
(2) The interests of geographical distribution (cf. § 3-3-3 of the election rules) shall give precedence as necessary to the interests of professional breadth in connection with the election of the boards of the societies for the main specialties in general surgery and internal medicine. These boards are assumed to be composed in such a way that the branch specialty societies are represented as far as possible.
(1) The medical specialty societies shall form the basis for the medical, professional work of the Association. In addition to their own professional and scientific tasks, the medical specialty societies shall together contribute to ensuring that the Association’s work in educating doctors is of high quality, and that professional and health policy work is based on state-of-the-art medical knowledge and the greatest possible consensus on professional priorities.
(2) The medical specialty societies shall have the following main duties:
1. Assess and influence the basic medical education with respect to developments in the discipline.
2. Assess and influence specialist training in relevant professional areas.
3. Work on continuous medical education/courses, professional development, research.
4. Work primarily with the medical basis for the organisation of the health service inside and outside hospitals, location, development of the discipline and interaction within and between the levels of the health service.
5. Contact with academic medicine and medical practice nationally and internationally.
(3) The Representative Body may lay down supplementary provisions regarding the objects, responsibilities and duties of the medical specialty societies.
(4) The main specialty societies in general surgery and internal medicine should adopt a coordinating role in relation to the branch specialty societies, and through their activities first and foremost promote mutual professional interests and overarching professional issues within the main specialty.
(1) A medical specialty society works and reaches decisions independently within its field of work while taking account of other bodies that have contiguous fields of work.
(2) In addition to what applies generally to divisions (cf. § 3-3-4, 3rd paragraph), the Board of a medical specialty society shall receive for treatment all important matters that concern the field of specialisation, and has the right, according to choice, to make written or verbal statements to local branches, regional committees, the Executive Committee and the Representative Body at the meeting at which the matter is dealt with. The Board has a duty to assist the Association when so requested with information and evaluations within its field of work. The Board also has a duty to take unsolicited initiatives in relation to the Association in areas where the medical specialty society can provide premises for and make contributions to the ordinary work of the Association.
(3) A medical specialty society has the right to submit proposals to the Association regarding the composition of the specialist committee in the discipline (cf. the specialist rules).
(4) The medical specialty societies elect 20 representatives to the Association’s Representative Body. The representatives with deputies are distributed among the following 6 electoral groups:
Electoral group 1 Surgical disciplines - 4 representatives
Electoral group 2 (Internal) medicine disciplines - 4 representatives
Electoral group 3 General practice - 3 representatives
Electoral group 4 Group-oriented medical disciplines - 3 representatives
Electoral group 5 Medical service disciplines - 3 representatives
Electoral group 6 Psychiatric subjects - 3 representatives
(5) The Representative Body stipulates the distribution of the specialty societies among the electoral groups.
(6) Specialty society representatives to the Representative Body shall be elected such that specialists and doctors in specialist training are represented in a manner that reflects the membership of the associations.
”Physicians in specialisation” means members being registered in the membership file as physicians in specialist training.
In the year of election the total amount of members of the medical specialty societies and the total amount of members named ”physicians in specialisation” are registered on February 1st.
From the total amount of representatives to the Representative Body who are elected from the medical specialty societies, a number of members are elected from the group ”physicians in specialisation”. The exact numbers are estimated in proportion to the number of ordinary members, members being registered in the membership file as ”physicians in specialisation” , and the total number of representatives from the medical specialty societies. This proportional representation, rounded to the nearest whole number, is leading for the number of representatives who are elected regarding to § 3-6-4, 6th paragraph, first sentence.
These representatives are distributed among the electoral groups after the amount of members in specialisation in the electoral groups, however, this rule is to be followed by election of representatives in all electoral groups before any electoral group is going to elect more than one representative.
These representatives and personal deputies are elected separately during the election where the total number of representatives in this electoral group are elected to the Representative Body. (cf. 7th paragraph).
(7) The chairpersons of the medical specialty societies that belong to the individual electoral group are jointly responsible for ensuring that an appropriate number of candidates is nominated within each of the electoral groups, and that electoral meetings are held. Each association in the electoral group has a vote. The election is decided by relative majority in compliance with the rules of § 3-1-2, 7th paragraph point 7. All associations shall be represented in electoral groups where this is possible. When this condition has been fulfilled and there is a tied vote on the third representative in group 4 and 6, this representative shall alternate between the associations every second electoral period. Deputies are elected in the same way, in ranked order within each group. More deputies than regular representatives may be elected (cf. § 3-1-1, 5th paragraph).
(8) Medical specialty society representatives to the Representative Body shall constitute themselves as a regular committee and shall act as a liaison body between the Association and the medical specialty societies. The committee shall be given financial support for necessary meeting activities.
(9) Medical specialty societies may take public action and make public appearances in connection with professional issues within their area of specialisation. As far as possible, such action/statements shall be discussed with the Association centrally, particularly if it may be assumed that externally directed activities may come into conflict with the Association’s official policy, with other professional areas or any binding resolutions in another body of the Association.
(10) Medical specialty societies take part in international work on behalf of their members.
(1) The Annual General Meeting fixes the membership fee for affiliated members, and may also for particular purposes fix a supplementary membership fee of up to 10 % of the Association membership fee for ordinary members who are approved specialists.
(2) Agreements may be made between medical specialty societies and the General Secretary regarding assistance for specialist project work and commercial services.
(1) The Norwegian Association of Medical Students is an association for medical students and its particular responsibility is to promote the professional, financial and social interests of student members.
(2) The association lays down its own statutes with election rules (however, cf. § 3-3, 3rd paragraph).
Students who have been admitted to one of the faculties of medicine in Norway and Norwegian nationals studying medicine abroad belong to the Norwegian Association of Medical Students. Foreign nationals with a special affiliation with Norway who are studyingmedicine abroad may be accepted as members after special assessment by the Executive Committee.
(1) The Norwegian Association of Medical Students shall have a Section at each of the medical faculties in Norway and one that provides for medical students abroad. The Section is led by a Section Committee and a Section Annual General Meeting. The Section appoints one member of the regional committee and one member with deputy to the Board of the local branch that includes doctors at the faculty.
(2) The Students’ Representative Body is the highest body of the Norwegian Association of Medical Students. It consists of four representatives from each section and the Board.
(3) The Board consists of six members, one from each section and a freely elected chairperson.
The term of office of the Board is two years. Deputies are elected for members of the Board.
(4) The members of the Board are the Norwegian Association of Medical Students’ representatives to the Representative Body of the Association.
The Norwegian Association of Medical Students has powers and rights in relation to the Association in line with the occupational branches (cf. § 3-5-4, 3rd – 5th paragraphs).
(1) A regional committee shall be established for each public health region to act as a contact and cooperative body for the local branches in the region and a representative body for the Norwegian Medical Association vis-à-vis the regional public health administration and any employers or contract counterparties at regional level.
(2) Regional committees shall consist of the chairperson of each of the local branches in the region and one local representative for all the occupational branches that are not already represented through the chairpersons of local branches. A representative shall also be appointed by the sectional council of the Norwegian Association of Medical Students at the closest medical faculty.
(3) Regional committees shall elect their own chairpersons, who shall not be regarded as representing a occupational branch. If necessary, another occupational branch representative may be appointed.
(4) The councils shall focus in particular on the organisation of health services and developments in health policy in the region, and as far as possible act in consultation and cooperation with the local branches and occupational branch representatives in the region.
(5) In matters of principle it is assumed that the regional committee will reach decisions in consultation with the Executive Committee.
(6) Regional committees shall periodically keep the Executive Committee informed of their activities.
(7) Regional committees shall annually draw up a budget for their activities for the following year, and have a right to financial support for their operations in accordance with a decision by the Representative Body.
(1) Voluntary associations of doctors with special professional or occupational interests which do not cover an approved specialisation may be approved by the Executive Committee as a special branch after an application for approval has been circulated for comments to the divisions and the special branches.
(2) Approval is conditional on the branch’s statutes not being in conflict with the bye-laws and rules of the Norwegian Medical Association. The associations must be open to members of the Norwegian Medical Association country-wide. Doctors who choose not to be members of the the Norwegian Medical Association cannot be members of a special branch.
(3) Special branches may stipulate their own rules for acceptance of members with a different training background, but only members of the Norwegian Medical Association may be elected to the Board and vote. In their own statutes, approved on in the Annual Meeting, special branches can still decide that other members are eligible to the Board and are given voting rights. The Chairman and the majority of the Board should still be physicians. Only physicians can vote in the proposed amendments and medical questions
(4) The bodies of the special branches are also required to consist of at least Annual General Meeting/General Meeting with normal Annual General Meeting functions, including the fixing of a separate membership fee, and a Board with separate election of a chairperson.
(5) Special branches that were approved as at 31 August 2005 and which do not change their status to specialty society (cf. § 3-6-1, 1st paragraph) automatically continue as an approved special branch pursuant to the rules of this paragraph.
(1) The Board of a special branch shall have all important matters relating to its special professional interests submitted to it, and is entitled to make verbal statements to the divisional Board, the Executive Committee and the Representative Body at meetings at which such matters are dealt with.
(2) Approved special branches may take public action and make public statements on matters related to professional issues within the field of interest of the association concerned. Such public activities must not in substance be in conflict with the bye-laws or rules of or binding resolutions adopted by the Norwegian Medical Association.
Chapter 4 – Administration, journal, financial matters
Pursuant to § 3-2-3, 1st paragraph, point 4, the Executive Committee lays down instructions for the General Secretary and the Secretariat. The instructions shall be based on the following assumptions:
1. The day-to-day activities of the Association shall be performed by a central Secretariat headed by a General Secretary. He/she is the Association’s business manager and shall be a doctor.
2. The General Secretary is employed by the Executive Committee and is accountable to the Executive Committee for the daily administration and business of the Association and the running of the Secretariat. He/she shall staff and organise the Secretariat within a given financial framework appropriately and effectively with respect to the tasks to be dealt with.
3. The Executive Committee may issue more detailed guidelines for the distribution of financial responsibility and the General Secretary’s power to make financial dispositions. The power to make financial dispositions shall be verified by the Executive Committee.
4. Pursuant to the the Executive Committee guidelines, the Secretariat shall make decisions on matters which because of their nature and importance should not be dealt with by the Executive Committee/Representative Body. Decisions taken by the Secretariat may be required to be brought before the Executive Committee, unless decision-making power has been vested in the Secretariat through a specific rule.
5. The Secretariat communicates regularly with the President of the Association, and has a duty to provide information and qualified assistance to the President in his/her execution of current political tasks and leading of negotiations.
6. The Secretariat proposes agendas in consultation with the President, independently prepares matters that are to be presented to the Executive Committee and the Representative Body and the standing committees and councils of the Association, keeps minutes pursuant to detailed regulations, implements decisions and follows up the matters at hand. The Secretariat shall also assist boards, councils and committees that are appointed by the Executive Committee or the Representative Body.
7. According to guidelines from the Executive Committee, the Secretariat shall provide administrative assistance and deal with issues of common interest for the professional branches, the specialty societies and the Norwegian Association of Medical Students (cf. § 3-5-4, 5th paragraph, § 3-6-5, 2nd paragraph and § 3-7-4).
(1) The Association publishes the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association as a members’ periodical. The periodical forms an integral part of the Association’s activities, and the editorial board is a part of the Secretariat.
(2) The Journal’s editor, who must be a doctor, is employed by the Representative Body. The editor exercises his or her authority and responsibility pursuant to the rules laid down by the Association of Norwegian Editors in ‘Rights and Duties of the Editor’. He or she is assisted by an editorial committee of eight appointed by the Executive Committee, Six members are appointed for four years in such a manner that three are up for election in each Executive Committee term of office. The other two are the General Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee. Members of the Editorial Committee may be reappointed. If a member resigns during his term of office, a new member shall be appointed for the remainder of the term.
(3) The Editor may attend Executive Committee meetings.
(1) Obligatory membership fees are fixed by the Representative Body for each calendar year.
The combined membership fee revenues shall cover the operating costs of the main association and the divisions (cf. § 3-3-4, 1st and 2nd paragraphs).
(2) Membership fees shall be paid periodically to the main association in accordance with the Executive Committee’s rules.
(3) The Executive Committee lays down rules governing reduced membership fees for new members admitted in the course of a calendar year.
(4) The Representative Body may decide to waive or reduce membership fees for groups of members when it is reasonable to do so in view of other circumstances. Doctors who have retired with an old-age pension pay 20 % of the ordinary membership fee. Subscriptions are waived for pensioners from the age of 75. Doctors with at least a 50 % disability pension are exempt from paying membership fees. The Executive Committee may on application exempt a member from payment in full or in part of a membership fee if it is reasonable to do so in view of the member’s financial circumstances.
(5) The Representative Body stipulates the distribution of membership fee revenues between the main Association and the divisions. A basic subsidy is allocated to local branches, occupational branches and specialty societies irrespective of their membership numbers.
Financial support may also be given to individual divisions for special tasks of a long-term nature and/or against a background of costly operations. The remainder of the financial support to the divisions is distributed per member. The calculation of contributions for membership of the medical specialty societies counts no members twice, ie branch specialists are counted in the specialty branch association, the main specialists without sub specialty are counted in the main specialty association. Volunteer members without specialty are counted in the main specialty association. The allocation to the Norwegian Association of Medical Students is fixed per member.
(6) Financial support per member is calculated on the basis of the membership as at 1 February in the subscription period.
(7) Subscription revenues are transferred to the divisions in pace with incoming payments from members according to a schedule approved by the Executive Committee.
(8) The Executive Committee is empowered to impose an extra subscription as necessary in connection with potential conflicts.
(1) The Association’s accounting year is the calendar year.
(2) The Association’s annual accounts are revised by a state-authorised accountant who is elected by the Representative Body when a proposal for election is submitted in advance of a meeting of the Representative Body.
(1) The decisors are elected for two years by the Representative Body in years ending in odd numbers, cf. § 3-1-1, 2th paragraph. The decisors committee shall have leader and two members. Eligible as decisors are all members who are not members of the Executive Committee, the Funds Committies or employed in the Secretariat during the election term.
(2) The Decisors Committee perform descision (?), propose to the Representrative Body fee and compensation of the President and members of the Executive Committee, which will be included in the Executive Committee’s budget proposal, and to stipulate wages and working conditions for the medical journal's editor.
(3) Decisions are made in connection with the auditing of the Association’s accounts, including available documents and vouchers. The decisors shall determine whether the financial disposition made by the Executive Committee and the Secretariat are founded in the Association’s bye-laws, the statutes of the funds or in resolutions taken by the Representative Body and the Executive Committee, and may submit proposals to the Representative Body in this connection.
Chapter 5 – Amendments to the bye-laws and dissolution
(1) Proposed amendments to the present Bye-laws must be submitted in writing to the Secretariat four months at the latest before an ordinary meeting of the Representative Body.
They shall be published and circulated to the divisions for comment. If a proposed amendment has been submitted by the Executive Committee, publication shall take place with a two-month deadline.
(2) For a resolution to be valid, a two-thirds majority of voting members is required at a meeting of the Representative Body.
(3) Amendments to the Bye-laws enter into force immediately unless the Representative Body decides otherwise.
(1) A proposal that the Association be dissolved may be submitted by the Executive Committee or at least 4 occupational branches. A resolution shall be passed by the Representative Body, and is valid when the motion receives a two-thirds majority from voting members at two consecutive Ordinary General Meetings of the Representative Body. The matter may be dealt with 6 months at the earliest after a proposal for dissolution has been submitted and made known to the members of the Association.
(2) In the event of dissolution, the net assets of the Association shall go to collective measures for doctors covered by the Association’s Objects as stipulated in § 1-2.
Bye-laws of the Norwegian Medical Association, adopted by the Representative Body on 12 May 2006, with entry into force on 1 January 2007. By resolution 23.5.2007 the name of the Association was changed to ”Den norske legeforening” along with other subsequent amendments. Other amendments adopted 22.5.2008 at the Annual General Meeting, and 1.10.2008 by electronic voting by the Representative Body (new, provisional § 3-1-1, 3rd paragraph, # 4a). Amendments in the Annual General Meeting 5.6.2009. Editorial changes 31.8.2009 by removing provisional bye-law.
The first bye-laws were adopted by the 1st General Meeting of Physicians in 1886. New bye-laws were then adopted at the 20th Annual General Meeting in 1924 and at the 29th Annual General Meeting in 1947, with intermediate and subsequent amendments adopted by the Representative Body.