The latest articles on "spectra online"

07.05.2018

Federal government commitment to people with rare diseases

Rare diseases. In Switzerland some 500 000 people suffer from a rare disease. Between 7 000 and 8 000 such diseases exist. There are so many of them that they account for a quarter of illnesses worldwide and are thus as frequent as one of the most widespread diseases. How- ever, the lower the number of people suffering from a particular disease, the less we know about its causes, symptoms and treatment options. more

07.05.2018

At first hand

When the talk is of "rare diseases", we do not usually feel directly addressed: anything "rare" just affects others. But it is only the individual diseases that are rare. As a group, they are as common as diabetes. I too realised this only when we began drafting the National Rare Disease Policy. more

07.05.2018

When does the statutory health insurance (SHI) cover the costs, when does it not?

Genetic testing. Many rare diseases are of genetic origin, i.e. they can be inherited. Changes in an individual’s genetic make-up can now be demonstrated in the blood. Genetic analyses have to be accompanied by genetic counselling. However, the statutory health insurance (SHI) does not cover the often considerable cost of genetic testing in all cases. more

07.05.2018

National policy – participation in international networks

International. In order to remain involved internationally in research, diagnosis, treatment and management of rare diseases, Swiss centres of excellence rely on international partnerships. A new "International Networking" subproject in the context of the National Rare Disease Policy has been developed to help provide Swiss centres an anchor for their international integration. more

02.03.2018

Improving awareness of rare diseases

Rare diseases. The subject of the 8th international Rare Disease Day in Switzerland this year is "I have a diagnosis. What happens now?" Jean-Marc Nuoffer, Chief Physician in Metabolic Analytics and head of the Interdisciplinary Metabolism Team at the Inselspital in Bern, tells us what it means to go for a long time with no diagnosis and what is urgently needed to improve matters. more

08.01.2018

Social disadvantage leads to unequal health opportunities

Health equity. Our health system is based on the fundamental principle of openness and solidarity: it must do justice to the needs of all groups in the population, irrespective of their language, origin, social status and level of education. This means that often a special effort must be made to ensure that the disadvantaged are also provided with basic health-care as well as health promotion and prevention resources. more

08.01.2018

At first hand

Editorial. The Swiss population has a long life expectancy and generally enjoys good health. The strengths of our health system include the high quality of care and the wide range of benefi ts covered by the statutory health insurance in this country. Yet there are some distinct differences in the health of various groups within the population – differences that we can infl uence and therefore do not want to accept as a matter of course. Our strategies should make a contribution to mitigating these differences so that we reach out even to the weakest members of society. more

08.01.2018

"Diversity is an enrichment and a growing reality."

Interview with Patrick Bodenmann. Equality of opportunity in hospitals does not mean providing a "one size fi ts all" treatment but one tailored to a patient's individual requirements, i.e. treatment that meets the needs of the particular health problem and the particular patient. Patrick Bodenmann is familiar with this important topic, both from a theoretical and practical point of view: as university professor, as co-founder of the Swiss Hospitals for Equity, and as head of a polyclinic at the University Hospital Lausanne. more

08.01.2018

Understanding and being understood – traumatized refugees and working with intercultural interpreters

Forum. It is estimated that currently between 40 and 50 per cent of all asylum seekers and refugees from war zones and crisis regions are suffering from trauma-related illnesses. Many of them have repeatedly experienced traumatic situations as a result of war, torture and life-threatening escapes. Once in Switzerland they are confronted with a new culture and aspects of residency and social law that will have a fundamental impact on their lives for years to come. more

04.09.2017

At first hand

Editorial. Addiction is a disease (1). But addiction can also lead to marginalisation. Loneliness. Debt. Addiction can lead to loss of work, loss of social contacts – loss of zest for life. There are often deep-seated psychological problems behind addictive behaviour. The new National Strategy on Addiction therefore assumes a comprehensive, biopsychosocial disease model that includes physical, psychological and socioeconomic factors and views addiction not as a condition but rather as a dynamic process. more