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.

01.12.2014

Working together to create a society in which fewer people fall ill or die from the effects of smoking

National Tobacco Programme. On 9 May 2012, the Swiss Federal Council extended the National Tobacco Programme by a further four years to the end of 2016. This measure ensures that prevention activities already launched have a long-term effect. more

01.12.2014

Reducing the negative effects of alcohol consumption for the individual and society as a whole

National Alcohol Programme. The second phase of the National Alcohol Programme (NPA) got under way in 2013 and will run until 2016. This year the focus has been on continuing and strengthening the alliance-based approach. more

01.12.2014

The Swiss government is drawing up two forward-looking strategies for the prevention of addiction and non-communicable diseases

Strategies. Non-communicable diseases are currently the most common cause of deaths worldwide. According to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, 74.6 percent of deaths among men and 75.9 percent among women in Switzerland in 2011 were due to four groups of non-communicable diseases: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases and dementia. The Swiss government and the cantons are currently working together to draw up a national strategy for the prevention of non-communicable diseases. Tackling the phenomenon of addiction on a more comprehensive basis is the primary objective of the National Strategy on Addiction that is being drawn up in response to a mandate of the Swiss government, to be completed by spring 2015. The overriding goal is to secure a comprehensive and integrated package of addiction management services that includes medical care, harm reduction, counselling and treatment and promotes the social (re-)integration and health rehabilitation of addicts. The National Strategy on Addiction will guarantee continuity and also define a framework for action across all kinds of addiction. The two new strategies will replace the national programmes on alcohol, tobacco, drugs and diet & physical activity, which finish at the end of 2016. more

01.07.2014

Work – a health risk

Work-related health problems. Road workers with damaged hearing, hairdressers with chemical allergies or carpenters with asbestos-impaired lungs: Suva (the Swiss Accident Insurance Fund) handles around 3000 such work-related insurance cases each year. In addition to these relatively clearly defined "occupational diseases", however, there are an infinitely larger number of dis­orders that are also – though not only – caused by work: "work-related health problems". Such physical and mental disorders, for instance stress and back pain, have increased massively in recent decades. Prevention of work-related health problems requires close cooperation between employers, prevention specialists and insurers. more

01.07.2014

At first hand

Editorial Stefan Spycher. Being part of the working population is an important factor in the health of the individual. Paid work not only ensures financial independence; it also creates a sense of personal achievement, security and social integration. But work also entails health risks that go beyond established health protection measures at the workplace. The term "work-related health problems" covers disorders that are not actually caused by specific working conditions but are nonetheless more common among the working population. They include, for instance, musculoskeletal disorders, or symptoms that can result from constant stress. more

01.05.2014

Advertising ban for tobacco and alcohol products protects public health

Lead article. Advertising persuades children and adolescents to take a positive view of alcohol and tobacco. It makes little difference whether or not the advertising message is aimed directly at them. Full-scale bans on advertising are politically controversial, but – if combined with other measures – they would afford better protection against the subtle influences and clever advertising strategies of tobacco and alcohol producers. In Switzerland, producers are subject to fewer restrictions than in other European countries. more

01.01.2014

"Actively promote human and animal health and wellbeing."

Five questions for Hans Wyss. To further tighten the cooperation between the Federal Veterinary Office (FVO) and the Food Safety Division of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the Federal Council (Swiss government) decided in 2012 to merge the two. Subsequently the new Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) was created. It will be operational from January 2014 onwards and will be the centre of competency for food safety, nutrition, animal health, animal welfare as well as species and animal protection in international trade. more

01.01.2014

Working together to improve employee health and physical activity

2013 annual conference. The 2013 annual conference of "actionsanté", which was held in Berne's Kursaal on 5 November, focused on cooperation between the authorities and the private sector to improve employee health and physical activity, and on the views of young people on health-related topics. more

01.01.2014

At first hand

Editorial Daniel Koch. The most recent vote on the Epidemics Act has once more demonstrated that the subject of vaccinations can arouse emotions and trigger debate. When an epidemic with a high mortality rate looms on the horizon, the loudest voices are those clamouring for vaccinations. At other times, they are those who fear vaccinations. more

01.11.2013

New system of public order fines for cannabis use

Revision of the Narcotics Act. As of 1 October 2013, adults caught using cannabis are now fined 100 francs and no longer charged with drug use. more