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Article L1110-8 of the Public Health Code , amended by Law No. 2016-41 of January 26, 2016 – art. 175 specifies that “The patient’s right to free choice of his practitioner and his health establishment and his mode of care, on an outpatient basis or at home, in particular when he is in palliative care within the meaning of Article L. 1110 -10, is a fundamental of health legislation.
The limitations imposed on this principle by the various social protection schemes can only be introduced in consideration of the technical capacities of the establishments, their method of pricing and the criteria for authorizing the dispensing of reimbursable care to socially insured persons. »
The principle is therefore that it is possible to choose your hospital but, in practice, the choices are limited. Indeed, the patient does not necessarily decide on his practitioner and reimbursement is only made under certain conditions.


The free choice of hospital is a fundamental principle of health legislation. But, in practice, there are a number of exceptions. This is indeed the case for emergencies or in the context of collective medicine. In addition, this principle of free choice is extended to Europe and, eventually, all insured persons will be able to choose to be hospitalized in other Member States of the European Union.


Users of the health system cannot impose choices that would entail additional expenditure. The additional costs, linked for example to the transfer to a hospital other than that attached to his place of residence, must be borne by the patient. It is therefore advisable to be well informed about the costs and obligations of affiliated organizations before choosing a hospital.

The practitioner’s choice

In France, the hospital is public and the patient is a user. He therefore does not systematically have the choice of his practitioner. Hospital medicine being collective, it is therefore not necessarily the same practitioner who follows the patient. This is the case, for example, of anesthetists-resuscitators or gynecologists-obstetricians.
Société d’Avocats DAMY , Nice, Can I choose my hospital?, Update 2022