All spectra article in the last 12 years in chronological order

02.03.2018

Improving awareness of rare diseases

Rare diseases. The subject of the 8th international Rare Disease Day in Switzerland this year is "I have a diagnosis. What happens now?" Jean-Marc Nuoffer, Chief Physician in Metabolic Analytics and head of the Interdisciplinary Metabolism Team at the Inselspital in Bern, tells us what it means to go for a long time with no diagnosis and what is urgently needed to improve matters. more

08.01.2018

Social disadvantage leads to unequal health opportunities

Health equity. Our health system is based on the fundamental principle of openness and solidarity: it must do justice to the needs of all groups in the population, irrespective of their language, origin, social status and level of education. This means that often a special effort must be made to ensure that the disadvantaged are also provided with basic health-care as well as health promotion and prevention resources. more

08.01.2018

At first hand

Editorial. The Swiss population has a long life expectancy and generally enjoys good health. The strengths of our health system include the high quality of care and the wide range of benefi ts covered by the statutory health insurance in this country. Yet there are some distinct differences in the health of various groups within the population – differences that we can infl uence and therefore do not want to accept as a matter of course. Our strategies should make a contribution to mitigating these differences so that we reach out even to the weakest members of society. more

08.01.2018

"Diversity is an enrichment and a growing reality."

Interview with Patrick Bodenmann. Equality of opportunity in hospitals does not mean providing a "one size fi ts all" treatment but one tailored to a patient's individual requirements, i.e. treatment that meets the needs of the particular health problem and the particular patient. Patrick Bodenmann is familiar with this important topic, both from a theoretical and practical point of view: as university professor, as co-founder of the Swiss Hospitals for Equity, and as head of a polyclinic at the University Hospital Lausanne. more

08.01.2018

Understanding and being understood – traumatized refugees and working with intercultural interpreters

Forum. It is estimated that currently between 40 and 50 per cent of all asylum seekers and refugees from war zones and crisis regions are suffering from trauma-related illnesses. Many of them have repeatedly experienced traumatic situations as a result of war, torture and life-threatening escapes. Once in Switzerland they are confronted with a new culture and aspects of residency and social law that will have a fundamental impact on their lives for years to come. more

04.09.2017

At first hand

Editorial. Addiction is a disease (1). But addiction can also lead to marginalisation. Loneliness. Debt. Addiction can lead to loss of work, loss of social contacts – loss of zest for life. There are often deep-seated psychological problems behind addictive behaviour. The new National Strategy on Addiction therefore assumes a comprehensive, biopsychosocial disease model that includes physical, psychological and socioeconomic factors and views addiction not as a condition but rather as a dynamic process. more

04.09.2017

The course is set for the new addiction strategy

Addiction policy. Since time immemorial, mankind has consumed psychoactive substances, and what a society considers to be an addiction is continually being renegotiated. Besides substances such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs and medication, there are also new substances such as neuroenhancers, whereas opiates (which had long been prominent in addiction services and policies) have recently become less prominent in Switzerland. In the 1980s and 1990s, answers had to be found to the plight of the open drug scenes. Nowadays, thanks to substituent treatment and harm reduction programmes, the heroin problem has somewhat faded into the background. The massive increase in opioid use in the United States, however, illustrates that ongoing monitoring of such developments remains vital. Besides the lingering problems that occur as a result of high-risk alcohol and tobacco consumption, this also means addressing newer manifestations of dependencies that are unrelated to substances. The National Strategy on Addiction which was launched this year takes on the entire spectrum of dependency and addiction, spanning all types of substances and other kinds of addiction. The strategy views addiction as a comprehensive phenomenon that is affected by interacting biological, psychological and socioeconomic aspects and is also dependent on current consumer trends and cultural behaviours. Together with the NCD Strategy, (1) it replaces the National Prevention Programmes on Alcohol and Tobacco as well as the Package of Drug-Related Measures from 2017 on. more

04.09.2017

Stigma – the "second disease"

Mental health. Stigmatisation is a form of social discrimination. For people with mental disorders, but also for their families, it constitutes an additional burden on top of the existing illness. Persons with addictions are particularly at risk of stigmatisation and are marginalised at several levels. more

04.09.2017

Improving health and quality of life at every stage of life

Addiction in old age. Older persons are an important target group of the National Strategy on Addiction and the National Strategy for the Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases (NCD). Their relevance is further underscored by demographic ageing: according to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of people over 65 will almost double by 2045. These prospects illustrate the importance of health promotion measures that will contribute towards longer-lasting autonomy and relieve health systems. more

30.06.2017

The federal government supports caregiving relatives

Caregiving relatives. The Swiss population is getting older, and there is an increasing shortage of skilled carers in the labour market. This affects the need for nursing staff as well as the willingness of relatives to take on caregiving and nursing responsibilities for their family members. There are many reasons for this. As the level of education in Switzerland increases, fewer and fewer employees are prepared to take on unpaid care and nursing tasks. Other factors include changed family structures, the increasing number of single-person households and the higher spatial distance between family members, which make these tasks more demanding. The "Relief programme for caregiving relatives" is designed to make it easier for family members to provide home care or nursing without significant loss of income or an irreparable reduction in your pension. more