Healthcare policy

Healthcare policy focuses on public health and public healthcare provision. Access to prevention and early identification services and to appropriate healthcare for all sectors of the population is an important basic requirement. Further topics include quality assurance of the services provided and the financial viability, data situation and manageability of the healthcare system.

07.05.2018

Federal government commitment to people with rare diseases

Rare diseases. In Switzerland some 500 000 people suffer from a rare disease. Between 7 000 and 8 000 such diseases exist. There are so many of them that they account for a quarter of illnesses worldwide and are thus as frequent as one of the most widespread diseases. How- ever, the lower the number of people suffering from a particular disease, the less we know about its causes, symptoms and treatment options. more

07.05.2018

At first hand

When the talk is of "rare diseases", we do not usually feel directly addressed: anything "rare" just affects others. But it is only the individual diseases that are rare. As a group, they are as common as diabetes. I too realised this only when we began drafting the National Rare Disease Policy. more

07.05.2018

When does the statutory health insurance (SHI) cover the costs, when does it not?

Genetic testing. Many rare diseases are of genetic origin, i.e. they can be inherited. Changes in an individual’s genetic make-up can now be demonstrated in the blood. Genetic analyses have to be accompanied by genetic counselling. However, the statutory health insurance (SHI) does not cover the often considerable cost of genetic testing in all cases. more

07.05.2018

National policy – participation in international networks

International. In order to remain involved internationally in research, diagnosis, treatment and management of rare diseases, Swiss centres of excellence rely on international partnerships. A new "International Networking" subproject in the context of the National Rare Disease Policy has been developed to help provide Swiss centres an anchor for their international integration. more

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

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

30.06.2017

At first hand

Editorial. When a child, a life partner or a parent falls ill, relatives are often the first to provide support. These caregiving and nursing tasks can be demanding and time-consuming, but they are still taken for granted – even though they reduce the services required from the healthcare system. more

30.06.2017

The new Palliative Care platform supports the relatives of people who are severely or terminally ill

Palliative Care. Relatives play an important role in the care and support of patients who are severely ill or dying. It is therefore vital that they are supported in this challenging responsibility. With its new Palliative Care platform, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) publicises and supports services that assist relatives in this situation. more