Health policies and data

OECD Reviews of Health Systems - Switzerland (2011)


Table of contents | Further information | How to obtain this publication



ISBN: 978-92-64-12090-7
Pages: 156

Publication date: 17 October 2011 


This report reviews Switzerland’s health system. It provides an update to the information and analysis presented in the Review of the Swiss Health System published by the OECD and the WHO in 2006, with a particular focus on three issues: health workforce, health insurance markets and governance of the Swiss health system.

The first chapter provides a description of the political,  demographic and economic context for the Swiss health system. Chapter two analyses trends in health insurance markets in terms of equity in health care financing and the nature and intensity of competition between insurers. There is a particular focus on the risk-equalisation mechanism, managed care plans and the current insurance reform agenda. Chapter three examines the recent trends in Switzerland’s health workforce, including training and the role of international migration, and discusses some challenges for the future. Chapter four analyses and assesses recent developments in several domains: hospital financing, prevention, quality of care and pharmaceutical policies. Chapter five describes governance in the Swiss health system and the process of reform.



Table of contents



Assessment and Recommendations


Chapter 1Key Features of the Swiss Health System

- Key features of Switzerland

- The economic size of the health sector

- Governance of the Swiss health system

- Financing health care in Switzerland

- Delivering health services

- Provider payments, reimbursement and contracting

- The system's efficiency: international benchmarking and future challenges

Chapter 2. Health Insurance

- General trends in the Swiss health insurance market

- The 1996 Health Insurance Law has strengthened solidarity, but health financing inequalities remain

- Competition in health insurance markets does not deliver all its promises

- The reform agenda

Chapter 3. Health Workforce

- Health workforce distribution and evolution

- Trends shaping the health workforce

- Education

- International health worker migration and Switzerland

- Not only a question of numbers

- The challenges of developing a national and long-term vision on health workforce issues

Chapter 4. Recent Health System Reforms and Progress since the 2006 review

- Public health and prevention

- Quality of care

- Hospital financing

- Pharmaceuticals

Chapter 5. Reforms and Governance of the Swiss Health System

- Introduction

- Main issues in health system governance identified in 2006

- Governance traditions and principles

- Dynamic governance or the political capacity for reform

- Key features and instruments of governance of the Swiss health system

- Looking at health system objectives through the governance lens

- Conclusion


List of Acronyms
Canton Abbreviations

Further information

The press release and the summary report are available also in German and Italian on the website of the Federal Office of Public Health.

For a description of the health system in this country and many others, visit the European Observatory's Health Systems in Transition (HiT) series.

How to obtain this publication


Readers can access the full version of OECD Reviews of Health Systems - Switzerland choosing from the following options:

  • Subscribers and readers at subscribing institutions can access the online edition via OECD iLibrary, our online library.
  • Non-subscribers can purchase the PDF e-book and/or paper copy via our Online Bookshop.
  • Government officials with accounts (subscribe) can go to the "Books" tab on OLIS.
  • Access by password for accredited journalists.