Free Hospital Choice

Free Hospital Choice is a scheme that allows patients to be referred for assessment/examination/treatment by the specialist health service at a hospital or treatment centre of their choice.

The right to choose a hospital extends to all planned examinations, assessments and treatments in the area of physical health (somatic treatments), mental health, and cross-discipline specialist treatment for substance abuse.

It does not cover acute admissions / emergency care.


When referring a patient to the specialist health service for assessment/treatment, the referral should be sent to the patient's local hospital.

If the patient requests it, the referral may be sent to a different public or private hospital or to a regional psychiatric clinic (DPS) with which the local health trust has an agreement.

Travel expenses

The cost of travelling to treatments is met by the patient's regional health authority. The patient only has to pay an excess if he/she chooses a specialist/hospital or x-ray clinic within the regional health authority.

In order for travel expenses to be reimbursed, the regional health authority must have entered into agreements with private service providers.

If the patient chooses to travel out of the region to receive treatment, the patient must pay a higher excess for the travel.

The Regulations on Entitlement to Refund of Patient Travel Expenses for Examinations or Treatments

Want to find out more?

Please contact Free Hospital Choice Norway on freephone 800 41 004

Contact the Helse Vest patient helpline on 800 41 005


The Health and Social Services Ombudsman

The Health & Social Services Ombudsman works to protect the needs, interests and legal rights of patients. The Ombudsman also strives to raise the quality of the health service.

You may contact the Health & Social Services Ombudsman if:

  • your rights as a patient or next-of-kin have been breached
  • you are dissatisfied with the care you have received
  • you are looking for help to resolve a dispute
  • you are looking for advice and guidance

The Ombudsman can provide more information about patient rights and/or help patients make a complaint about the health service or make a claim for compensation from the NPE.

The Health & Social Services Ombudsman treats all enquiries confidentially, and the service is free of charge. You may remain anonymous if you wish.

You may contact the Health & Social Services Ombudsman in your county of residence regardless of where you received care from the specialist health service.

About the Health and Social Services Ombudsman


Telephone: 953 35 050, 08:00 to 14:30 


Telephone: 55 21 80 90, 09:00-11:30 and 12:30-14:30

Last updated 10/31/2017