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Healthcare in Switzerland

Consumer indices consistently rate the Switzerland healthcare system as the best in Europe and one of the top three in the world. It is also one of the most expensive. The country devotes 12% of its GDP to the cost of Switzerland healthcare, the highest in Europe. Employees will spend an average of 10% of their salary on Swiss medical expenses. For this money, you will receive exemplary care and your pick of doctors and hospitals. Waiting lists are virtually unheard of, and life expectancy and patient satisfaction reports reflect the high performance of the Swiss medical system. Switzerland healthcare is universal, but it is regulated at canton level. There are multiple insurance companies, meaning that patients have a great deal of choice and autonomy when it comes to making health decisions.

Switzerland healthcare insurance

All residents of Switzerland must take out health insurance within three months of arrival. All insurance companies are private, but they are strictly regulated and work on a non-profit basis. All Swiss medical insurers offer basic insurance which covers 80-90% of the costs of essential healthcare. Doctor visits, hospital treatment and Swiss medicines are included, although you will need to pay upfront before you are reimbursed. You may also choose supplemental insurance to cover dental, optical, or alternative therapies. Additional coverage will also give you access to private wards in the hospital and possibly shorter waiting times for specialised procedures. Premiums vary widely between insurers and across packages. You can reduce your monthly bills by choosing to pay a higher deductible at the point of use. You are free to choose your insurer and should compare plans carefully to find the optimum package for you.  

Swiss medical facilities

Swiss medical facilities are among the most highly equipped in the world. Hospitals are modern, high-tech, and staffed by more doctors and nurses than anywhere else. You can choose your hospital, although your insurance may restrict your choice. Swiss medical hospitals have different types of wards according to your insurance. Public departments have between two and four beds, whereas enhanced insurance may pay for a private individual room.  The basic insurance package includes Swiss medical and nursing care and outpatient follow-up.  You will be asked to pay a small daily fee towards overnight stays. People usually have a consistent family doctor who will provide primary care and refer you to a specialist should you need one. However, you can also make appointments directly. Most doctors are highly educated and will speak English well, but you can check with your embassy for a list of doctors who speak your native tongue.

Medicine in Switzerland

Medicine in Switzerland is tightly controlled, and many drugs are only available on prescription from your doctor. Some cantons allow doctors to sell you medicine in Switzerland directly. Still, others will give you a prescription which you can take to a pharmacy. There are pharmacies on every corner. They will maintain a digital record of your medicines, so it makes sense to stick to the same one. Pharmacies have limited access to generic medicine in Switzerland, you will often have to pay for the brand name drug. You will usually be asked to pay for your medicine upfront and claim back the costs from your insurance provider afterwards. You also must pay a deductible of 10% of the price of your medication. Non-prescription drugs are not reimbursed and can be expensive, so it can be a good idea to stock up in your home country.

Switzerland healthcare – Mundialz

Mundialz has compiled a selection of living in Switzerland pages to help you get to know the Swiss system. From immigration to the business culture, we have all your questions covered. We understand how intimidating the relocation process can be, and we will support you every step of the way.

Embark on your alpine adventure and check out Swiss jobs here.

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