The Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association (NKS) is a nationwide organization with strong roots in the local community. The organization consists of approximately 1,300 local medical associations and branches, with 53,000 members working on voluntary basis. The organization's main focus is on women's living conditions.
NKS was established following an initiative from the Norwegian Women's Association by Fredrikke Marie Qvam in 1896. The main goal was to manage the education of nurses and to contribute to the Army medical corps, in case the work of the union should lead to war.
In 1914 the Norwegian Women’s Public Health Association served as a 'control station for mothers and children ‘, which was a predecessor to health centers. Now the health centers are operated by the municipalities. When the municipality took over the management in 1974, the medical association ran about 650 clinics.
The NKS functions both as a political impetus and a major supplier of health and care services. The organization owns and operates a number of nursing homes and institutions for people who need help and care. In recent years, NKS has focused strongly on women's health, and today the association is also heavily involved in addressing living conditions of women from minority backgrounds.
The Women's Medical Association actively participates in public debates, but is politically independent and religiously neutral. The organization does not receive state support.
The Medical Women's motto is: in small things liberty, in big things unity, and in all things love.