01.05.2013 At first hand

Editorial Stefan Spycher. In January 2013, the Swiss government approved a health-policy agenda not previously seen in this form in Switzerland. "Health2020" presents the first-ever comprehensive strategy for the Swiss healthcare system. It identifies the challenges facing the healthcare system and defines the health-policy goals resulting from these challenges, and the measures that will have to be adopted between now and 2020. The aim is to enhance quality of life and equality of opportunity for the population as a whole, promote standards of healthcare delivery and further improve the transparency and manageability of the system.

Pictures At first hand


"Health2020" provides direction for all those involved in shaping the healthcare system. It confers a level of commitment that will be very important for health policy in the next few years. Though fleshing-out of the individual measures is still at different stages, the strategy now lays down in clear terms where the journey is headed and what action has to be taken.

If we succeed in implementing all the measures set out in "Health2020", we will have realised many of our health-policy visions by 2020. Switzerland will then have a tangibly better healthcare system.

But this is going to take a great deal of work and dedication. There will have to be close cooperation with all stakeholders, first and foremost the cantons.There will be a greater need to share and cooperate with other sectors. As a comprehensive strategy, the agenda attaches great importance to areas such as social issues, education, work, the environment, research, innovation and also exchanges at the international level.

The population as a whole – or, depending on the context, insured persons or patients – will also be key partners in the task of implementing "Health2020".

The publication of this first comprehensive strategy for the Swiss healthcare system is a significant milestone. But there is a lot of work to be done and it is only just beginning – the 36 measures have to be implemented. The objectives of "Health2020" can be achieved only if the strategy is shaped and carried by all the partners involved.

Stefan Spycher
Vice-Director, Federal Office of Public Health

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