Healthcare in Switzerland

The standard of healthcare in Switzerland is excellent, and most residents are satisfied with the level of treatment and access. The Swiss system is universal but unique in its approach.

Health insurance in Switzerland is compulsory for all residents, but it isn’t government-funded like in the UK or employer-sponsored like in the US. As a result, private insurance providers in Switzerland aren’t allowed to refuse anyone coverage.

Waiting times are short, expats can choose where they'd like to be treated, and city doctors routinely speak English.

But even though expats can count on high-quality care, they can also count on monthly premiums, co-payments and deductibles.


Public hospitals in Switzerland

Public hospitals in Switzerland have high standards and modern facilities. Basic health insurance covers most treatment at public facilities although patients may have to pay extra for some specialist treatments.


Private hospitals in Switzerland

There isn’t a huge difference between standards at public and private hospitals in Switzerland. The main advantage of private hospitals is that waiting times are shorter and some hospitals specialise in particular treatments. But treatment costs at private hospitals are much higher and may only be covered by more comprehensive health insurance policies.


Health insurance in Switzerland

Expats will need to organise their own health insurance within three months of arriving – so research and preparation are important if they aren’t familiar with the process.

The government determines which treatments private providers should cover in their basic health insurance packages. This includes most medical treatment and hospitalisation costs, but dentistry and supplementary costs like private rooms aren’t usually covered. Expats interested in these extras will need to look at more comprehensive packages.

Insurance premiums are based on where someone stays, rather than their individual income, so they vary immensely. Expats should also be aware that they will need to arrange health insurance for their family members separately.


Medicines and pharmacies in Switzerland

Pharmacies in Switzerland are clearly marked with signs saying ‘Apotheke' or ‘Pharmacie’, depending on where they are. They’re usually open during normal working hours but there are emergency pharmacies which are open 24/7.

Expats shouldn’t have trouble getting most medicines, and pharmacies can order in products they don’t have or suggest alternatives.


Emergency services in Switzerland 

In the event of a medical emergency, expats should dial 144 for an ambulance. 

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Aetna is an award-winning insurance business that provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. Their high quality health insurance plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of expats living and working abroad.

Get a quote from Aetna International

Cigna_logo_300.png

Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global