Health: Switzerland’s health system is high-performing but must prepare for the future (Bild: OECD)
Switzerland’s life expectancy – which is amongst the highest in the world – and positive patient satisfaction reflect the high performance of the Swiss health system, writes the OECD.
But it comes at a considerable cost: Switzerland spent 11.4% of GDP on health in 2009, well above the OECD average of 9.6%.Maintaining a large number of hospitals drives up costs. Though this system has served Switzerland well in the past, it will not be able to support the increasing numbers of patients suffering from chronic diseases who will need less intensive care on a more regular basis.The Review recommends focusing more on primary care and preventing illness.
Today, around 2.3% of total health expenditure is devoted to preventing disease and promoting good health. Signing a federal law on prevention, which clearly assigns responsibilities and provides the financial capacity to promote healthy life-styles across the country, would help.Greater effort is needed to collect data on health outcomes so Switzerland can track key health risks and map people facing those risks.
At present, Switzerland reports on the quality of care in hospitals. That should be extended to the wider system in order to allow patients, insurers and governments to informed choices..
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