Voluntary insurance for the compensation of patients for damage sustained in health care was introduced in Sweden 20 years ago and similar systems exist in Finland, Denmark and Norway. This type of insurance is, or is in the process of becoming, statutory. The basic principle is that the apportioning of blame to any individual(s) is not a prerequisite for compensation to be paid out for injury sustained by a patient. Owing to hospital proprietors and care givers having taken out patient insurance policies with approved insurance companies, it has been possible for damages to be compensated in accordance with current insurance norms and the frequency of lawsuits arising from injury sustained in health care has been minimised. This type of insurance is universally accepted, and has often enabled unfortunate confrontations between doctors and patients to be avoided.