When a patient incurs an injury

It is NPE’s job to provide an unbiased investigation into claims for compensation received from patients. We normally reach our decisions on the basis of medical records and statements submitted by the patient, the treatment provider and external and internal experts.

Print Bokmål | Nynorsk | 30. July 2014

We are aware that many feel uncomfortable when contacted by us. In this situation it is important to keep in mind that our job is not to apportion blame, but to consider whether a claim for compensation is warranted.

Does the treatment provider have a right of appeal against NPEs’ decisions?
Treatment providers do not have a right of appeal against NPE’s decisions. However, treatment providers have ample opportunity to put forward their views before the ruling is made by completing the injury report form in detail and by commenting on the expert opinions provided.

Patients, however, are at liberty to lodge an appeal. Their appeals are directed towards NPE. If NPE finds no reason to reverse its decision, all case documents will be forwarded to the Patients’ Injury Compensation Board, which is the appeals body. The case cannot be heard by the courts before it has been heard by the Patients’ Injury Compensation Board.

Can healthcare personnel be sued now that we have a patient injury compensation scheme?
Yes, the Patient Injury Act is no impediment in this respect. However, a claim of this nature cannot be submitted under the provisions of the Patient Injury Act; it must be based on grounds of negligence committed by the healthcare personnel. There is little reason to believe that we will see many cases of litigation against healthcare personnel, and it is probable that in general, such legal actions will involve patients who sue for redress. For the patient to be awarded redress, the healthcare personnel must have been guilty of gross negligence. This means that their actions must have deviated markedly from commonly accepted good practice.

It is no longer possible to sue the state, the county or the local authorities. This means that the opportunity to sue a publicly owned hospital is now restricted.

Is it possible to apply for compensation from NPE even if the injury was caused by treatment abroad?
Generally, claims for compensation following injuries caused by treatment abroad should be directed to the institution providing the treatment. The Norwegian Patient Injury Act covers hospitals and medical personnel abroad only if the treatment was paid for in full or in part by the public sector. Please note that Sweden, Finland and Denmark all have compensation schemes similar to NPE.

What is the role of the Health and Social Services Ombudsman?
Many patients contact the Health and Social Services Ombudsman before they apply to NPE for compensation. Patients often receive assistance from the Health and Social Services Ombudsman to complete the injury report form. In some cases, the Health and Social Services Ombudsman will act on the patient’s behalf