The Patient Compensation Association was founded to improve patients’ ability to obtain compensation, if they should be unexpectedly injured while being treated at the nation’s hospitals.

Patient injuries were decided in the courts

Before the Patient Compensation Association was founded in 1992, patients had to go to the courts to seek compensation for an injury.

At that time, patients were only entitled to compensation if they could prove that a healthcare professional had made an error. However, this was very difficult to prove.
Therefore, politicians decided to improve patients’ ability to obtain compensation. Denmark was to have a publicly-financed compensation scheme modelled on the scheme found in Sweden.

Patients were no longer required to prove that an error had occurred to gain compensation. Now it simply had to be highly likely that there was a connection between an injury and the treatment or examination undergone by the patient. Nor was the patient required any longer to conduct the case, as an institution was established to ensure that patients received the compensation to which they were entitled according to the law.

Therefore, the Patient Compensation Act was passed and the Patient Compensation Association was founded to make decisions based on the Act.

The introduction of the Patient Compensation Act

The Patient Compensation Act became effective in 1992 and was accompanied by the Act on Compensation for Medicine-Related Injuries in 1996.

Since that time, the area covered by the law has been expanded to include almost all areas and functions of the public and private health service. Both laws are collected today in the Danish Act on the Right to Complain and Receive Compensation within the Health Service.

Even though not all patients may view it as such, Denmark has a very unique compensation scheme. The scheme, whereby it is not necessary to prove that doctors or other healthcare professionals have made an error in order to receive compensation, is only found in the Nordic countries.