General practitioners and dentists
20. Jun 2023
An average of 3.3 GP visits per capita last year

The total number of GP visits in 2022 was 181,348, a 2% increase on 2021. About 9,200 of these consultations were carried out over the phone due to the risk of Covid-19 infection. People residing abroad accounted for about 2.5% of the total number of GP consultations.

In 2019, prior to Covid-19, 166,300 GP consultations were registered. This figure increased by 19,000 (11%) in 2020 and went up by a further 2,600 (1.4%) in 2021. This figure has since come down somewhat in 2022.

Summary of GP activity in 2022:

  • There was an average of 3.3 GP consultations per capita in 2022
  • Women represented 56% of the total consultations
  • School-age children were the least frequent GP visitors
  • The 70+ age group visited GPs most frequently
  • Suðuroy and Norðoyggjar had the fewest out-of-office-hours GP consultations
  • The highest number of out-of-office-hours GP consultations was registered among foreign nationals and residents in Suðurstreymoy
  • Sandoy had the highest per capita number of GP visits. Norðstreymoy, Suðurstreymoy and Suðuroy the lowest per capita number

The figures do not include prophylactic consultations such as vaccinations, birth control guidance, health checks of pregnant women and medical examinations of children.

The data, provided by the Public Health Insurance, covers the 2016-2022 period and outlines the distribution of GP consultations according to area of residence, time of day, age and sex.

Phone and online consultations are excluded from the figures. Phone consultations carried out due to Covid-19 infection risk are, however, included. These amounted to 25,000 in 2020 and just over 9,000 in 2021 and 2022.


Most GP visits in Sandoy and fewest in Norðurstreymoy and Suðurstreymoy

Using the number of Faroese residents relative to the population size, we arrive at an average number of 3.3 GP visits per capita in 2022, compared to 3.1 in 2019. The number of consultations varies widely across the regions, with Norðurstreymoy, Suðurstreymoy and Suðuroy having the lowest figure (2.9-3.0 per capita) and Sandoy the highest (4.4). The figure for Eysturoy was 3.5, Vágar had 3.8 and Norðoyggjar 4.0.


The table above also shows a significant change from 2021 to 2022 in consultation frequency across the regions. A big increase was registered in Norðoyggjar and Eysturoy, while the number decreased significantly in Norstreymoy and Suðurstreymoy.

It is worth noting that the statistics are affected when a GP retires and when new GPs or substitute doctors are appointed.

Consultation times

Most consultations (92%) took place during the normal office hours of Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. The remaining 8% are evenly spread between evening shifts and night/weekend shifts.


Consultations by region and time of day

The figures vary across the main regions in terms of time of day.

Here, Suðuroy and Norðoyggjar stand out, with 98.3% and 98.0% of consultations taking place during normal office hours. At the other end of this spectrum is Suðurstreymoy, which had a figure of 88.3%. For foreign nationals, 80% of consultations took place during office hours.


Consultations by age and sex

The sex ratio for GP visits in 2022 was 56% women and 44% men. The sex ratio in the 0-15 age groups was roughly equal, but in all other age groups, women outnumbered men in terms of GP visits.


The graph above outlines the number of consultations for from 2019 (i.e. prior to Covid-19) to 2022. 

The graph below shows a significantly higher number of female GP visitors from age 10 upwards. 


School-age children (5-14 years) were the least frequent GP visitors in 2022, with 1.6-1.7 visits per capita. This frequency then increases gradually to more than 5 visits for the 75+ age groups. The 95+ figure tends to fluctuate due to the small size of this age group.




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