In Switzerland, the cantons are largely responsible for overseeing healthcare provision (e.g. hospitals, advanced medicine, the authorisation to practice health professions, and prevention). The Swiss federal government is responsible for the compulsory health insurance scheme, control of communicable diseases, as well as medically assisted reproduction and transplants. The whole healthcare system is geared toward the general goals of keeping the system competitive across cantonal lines, promoting general public health and reducing costs while encouraging individual responsibility.
The Swiss healthcare system is a combination of public, subsidised private and totally private systems:
- public: e. g. the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG) with 2,350 beds, 8,300 staff and 50,000 patients per year;
- subsidised private: the home care services to which one may have recourse in case of a difficult pregnancy, after childbirth, illness, accident, handicap or old age;
- totally private: doctors in private practice and in private clinics.
Everyone who lives in Switzerland has to take out basic health insurance with a provider of their choosing. The monthly premium depends on where the person lives in Switzerland, their gender and the annual deductible sum they have chosen. For adults, the deductible can range from CHF 300 to CHF 2,500. The insured person has full freedom of choice among the recognised healthcare providers competent to treat their condition (in his region) on the understanding that the costs are covered by the insurance up to the level of the official tariff.