Vulnerable groups

Certain sectors of the population are particularly vulnerable in terms of harm to health, owing either to their physical or emotional constitution (e.g. disability, mental illness, addictive disorder, pregnancy, advanced age, migration background, etc.) or to their socio-economic situation.

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

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

A vaccination protects those close to you

Protection with vaccination. To have yourself vaccinated against an infectious disease not only protects you – it also protects those close to you, and helps to protect the whole population. more

30.06.2017

"The relatives have a right to be heard."

Interview with Sibylle Glauser. Ms Glauser is President of the Psychiatry Network for Relatives (PNR), the psychologist in charge of the service for counselling relatives at University Psychiatric Services in Berne (UPD AG), and she is a member of the care team of the Canton of Berne, which provides emergency psychological support. Sibylle Glauser talked with spectra about working with relatives in psychiatry and is affected herself – her brother has suffered from schizophrenia for many years. We learned that information from discussions with relatives is important both for the patient and for the relatives, who feel appreciated and relieved as a result. more

30.06.2017

Information for migrants, their relatives and other interested persons and institutions

Information. In Switzerland, numerous publications address migrants to inform them on health issues in their mother tongue. Owing to the various language and structural barriers they face, access to preventive medicine and healthcare is difficult for many of them. The internet site migesplus.ch is an important source for health guides translated in various languages of the migrant population. more

07.03.2016

Improved access and respect for human rights in the treatment of opioid dependence

Pompidou Group. In many countries, the prescription of opioid medicines such as methadone or buprenorphine is subject to rigorous restrictions. An expert group of the Council of Europe's Pompidou Group, the international cooperation group to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs, has now spoken out in favour of a paradigm shift: decisions to permit or prohibit the prescription of opioid medicines should be based on scientific findings and respect for human rights rather than on a repression-oriented approach. These medicines are the best possible treatment for large numbers of dependent opioid users, and therefore, in compliance with human rights, access to them should not be withheld or subjected to restrictions. On Switzerland's initiative, the experts nominated by participating Pompidou Group Member States are drawing up guidelines to help member states review their regulations on this form of therapy. Switzerland has been mandated to head this project. more

28.10.2015

Federal Council decides on further measures to counter female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is a violation of human rights and a criminal offence in Switzerland. The Federal Council therefore intends to continue its efforts to counter it. This includes in particular support for measures undertaken by a network that opposes female genital mutilation. more

08.09.2015

"Strengthening health skills cannot be the task of public health policy alone."

Six questions for Stefan Spycher. Health skills are a key factor in the physical and mental wellbeing of the individual; they reduce pressure on the health system and consequently on society as a whole. But how can health policy help to establish and develop these skills in all people, and what is the state doing specifically to improve equality of opportunity? Stefan Spycher, Head of the Health Policy Directorate and Vice Director of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) provides some answers. more