Expats are typically satisfied with the standard of healthcare in Geneva, but they should prepare to pay for medical insurance. Health insurance is compulsory in Switzerland, but it isn't state sponsored, so residents have to take out a policy themselves.
Insurance premiums are based on geographic area rather than salary. So even expats without an exceptional wage may still have to foot a hefty health insurance bill. The canton, fortunately, does have subsidies for those who need them, and insurance costs for children are usually discounted.
Expats should compare plans from different service providers to find something that suits their budget and needs.
Geneva's hospitals and health professionals are generally excellent. Most medical staff are well qualified and speak English as well as French. Pharmacies are usually open from 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, and some are open 24 hours a day. Most prescription drugs are readily available. There is a large pool of private doctor's practices in Geneva, and a list can be found through the canton's Association des Medecins.
In the event of a medical emergency, expats can dial 144.
Hospitals in Geneva
Geneva University Hospitals (HUG)
Address: Rue Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 4, 1205 Geneva
Clinique Générale Beaulieu
Address: Chemin Beau-Soleil 20, 1206 Geneva
Hôpital de la Tour
Address: Avenue JD Maillard 3, 1217 Meyrin
Clinique la Colline
Address: Avenue Beau-Séjour 6, 1206 Geneva
►For more on medical issues, see Healthcare in Switzerland
"The healthcare in Geneva is very good. No complaints. Since I speak French now, it's difficult to say if finding an English-speaking doctor is easy or difficult. I hear it's difficult to find English-speaking therapists, but actually we have a nice little community, including myself!"
For more about American expat Melissa's experiences in Geneva, read our interview with her.
Are you an expat living in Geneva?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Geneva. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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