From January 2002 the central government took over the responsibility for, and ownership of, all public hospital in Norway. This hospital reform represents the latest attempt by the central government to resolve what are meant to be the main problems of the Norwegian health care system. In this paper we describe the recent reforms, and the problems they are intended to remedy. We also indicate further proposals that we believe need to be accomplished to ensure that the reforms become successful. We conclude by indicating some lessons that can be learned for the Norwegian experiment.