Right to free choice of hospital? Which psychiatric hospital is responsible?

The free choice of hospital also applies in principle to people with mental illness. However, there are psychiatric hospitals that have a service mandate for a specific region. These clinics must accept patients from within their jurisdiction. All other clinics can admit if they have capacity and want to admit.

In this respect, the choice of hospital is basically “free”, but due to high occupancy rates or the specialization of hospitals, they are usually assigned to a “care clinic”.

An overview of all psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric departments as well as facilities and services for mentally ill people can be found in the

Guide to Psychiatry

of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Integration Baden-Württemberg. The Psychiatry Guide is organized by region and city/county.

As a rule, the general practitioner, the psychiatrist in private practice or (psychological) psychotherapist issues a referral to a clinic. These can also provide information about possible clinics (with specializations for certain diseases, if applicable).

In the case of compulsory hospital ization, the principle of free choice of hospital does not apply. Here, admission is made to the psychiatric hospital responsible for the region.