Rights and obligations of the patient

The patient has the right to:

  • receive the necessary health care to the extent provided at the hospital;
  • to receive information about their state of health, illness, treatment, and the expected outcome in Estonian; patients who speak a foreign language have the right to receive the aforementioned information in their language, if possible;
  • refuse to accept information about their state of health (total or partial refusal);
  • actively take part in decisions concerning their treatment, to be involved in the treatment process, to consent to or refuse treatment;
  • to request and receive a second opinion from another specialist on the basis of a referral letter from the specialist who issued the initial opinion;
  • receive training to cope with their illness, and to maintain and improve their health;
  • appoint a close person, whom the patient introduces to their attending physician, as a representative in decisions regarding their treatment and care;
  • require the hospital to keep the information about their health, treatment, and private life confidential (except in cases where the hospital has a legal obligation to disclose information);
  • know the names of the doctors, nurses, and other staff involved in their treatment;
  • if necessary, use the help of an interpreter (in this case, the costs of the interpreting service are borne by the patient);
  • receive health services which are subject to a fee and explanations about the pricing of the health services;
  • limit the number of their visitors;
  • make complaints or suggestions and receive feedback about problems that have arisen due to dissatisfaction;
  • refuse resuscitation in their specific case;
  • address a state agency (e.g. the Health Board, the Expert Committee on the Quality of Health Care Services, the Data Protection Inspectorate) for an assessment of the hospital’s activities.


The patient has the obligation to:

  • arrive on time for a doctor’s appointment, examination, procedure, and admission to hospital;
  • inform medical personnel of all circumstances that may be important or affect their state of health or the provision of health care services (incl. chronic diseases, infectious diseases, harmful habits, etc.);
  • inform the doctor/hospital of decisions concerning their treatment and identity (e.g. requesting information / refusing to accept information, restricting access to information, and changing their decisions);
  • comply with all the requirements arising from laws and regulations that regulate the behaviour of patients (laws, regulations, internal procedures of the hospital, including the internal rules of the hospital, etc.);
  • pay for health services to the extent that is not covered by the health insurance or a third party (visit fee, inpatient fee, own contribution, price of health care services not reimbursed by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund).