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.
In this context I would particularly like to emphasise the following points: the benefi ts offered by our health system must also be accessible to and affordable by people who speak other languages, have a low standard of education or are affected by poverty. Our health-care professionals need the skills and tools to enable them to communicate with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Our health information should be communicated in such a way that everyone understands it and can improve their health skills accordingly.
While carrying out the National Migration and Health Programme, we looked for ways of achieving these goals. We implemented numerous projects that are still proving their worth today and are still as important as ever against a background of growing scepticism about immigrants and the vulnerable. Most of these projects were conceived and launched by the FOPH in conjunction with external partners (particularly the State Secretariat for Migration, the cantons and many umbrella organisations and NGOs). I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our partners for their keen participation, and hope that they will continue to offer their experience and knowledge to help us achieve our goals in the future.
The FOPH will continue to work towards achieving health equity. We know that some of the major factors in achieving good health are beyond the scope of health policy in the narrower sense – belonging rather to the realms of economic, education, social and integration policy, for example. This is why health equity is a goal that we can only achieve through a concerted effort.
Federal Office of Public Health