Healthcare policy

Healthcare policy focuses on public health and public healthcare provision. Access to prevention and early identification services and to appropriate healthcare for all sectors of the population is an important basic requirement. Further topics include quality assurance of the services provided and the financial viability, data situation and manageability of the healthcare system.


Dementia – a challenge for society and the healthcare system

National Dementia Strategy 2014– 2017. Today about 110,000 persons suffering from dementia are living in Switzerland. And their numbers are growing. The National Dementia Strategy aims to provide a targeted response to this growing challenge. more


“spectra” is like a restaurant menu – it has something for everyone.

Six questions for Professor Thomas Zeltner. As Director of Switzerland's Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) from 1991 to 2009, Thomas Zeltner helped shape the Swiss healthcare system and international health policy for many years. Today, he is President of the Science et Cité Foundation, which promotes dialogue between the sciences and the people of Switzerland, and he is a professor at the University of Berne and Harvard University as well as an advisor to numerous organisations and governments. more


Employee fitness is also an economic factor

Physical activity in the workplace. On average, employees spend 60% of their day in the workplace, many of them doing sedentary work. As a result, over 50% of the working population do not get enough exercise, their performance declines and they are more likely to fall ill. Employers can counter this trend by introducing physical activity programmes at work. more


Lifestyle has an influence on health – but what influences lifestyle?

Determinants of health. A healthy lifestyle could prevent many chronic diseases. But lifestyle – like health in general – varies considerably throughout our society. The boundaries between healthy and unhealthy often parallel those of social distinctions. One of the main tasks of health promotion and disease prevention is to enable health equality. This calls primarily for structural measures – because these also influence lifestyle. more


At first hand

Editorial Pascal Strupler. Large numbers of Italians have migrated to Switzerland in the last hundred years. Most of them have earned their living the hard way, doing physically challenging work on building sites, in hotels or big factories. Their children have gone to school here and have therefore been able to take up other occupations. They are no longer trained as bricklayers and waiters, but became bank employees, businesspeople and lawyers. Many of them have taken Swiss nationality, studied at our universities and hold political office. They have integrated into society, and it is hard to imagine it without them. more


Government prolongs the Migration and Health programme

Equality of opportunity. By extending the duration of the National Programme on Migration and Health to the end of 2017, the Swiss government (Federal Council) aims to contribute towards improving the health of Switzerland's migrant communities. A publication summarises the status of implementation of the programme and outlines the future aims and measures. more


Health2020: a health-policy agenda with potential

The Swiss government's "Health2020" agenda is a comprehensive overview of current health-policy challenges and short and medium term priorities for action. Its implementation offers far-reaching opportunities for further developing healthcare delivery and also for moving forward on other important public-health concerns. more


Health minister Alain Berset: "We have to create an environment that makes healthy behaviour easy."

Interview with Federal Councillor Alain Berset. In January, the Swiss government approved the "Health 2020" strategy – a health-policy agenda focusing on four action areas and 36 measures to be implemented in stages. Health minister Alain Berset talked to spectra about the role of prevention in this comprehensive overview of health policy, about state responsibility and self-responsibility, the federal nature of the healthcare system and the importance of cooperation within and between the main departments of government in promoting and safeguarding public health. more


At first hand

Editorial Stefan Spycher. In January 2013, the Swiss government approved a health-policy agenda not previously seen in this form in Switzerland. "Health2020" presents the first-ever comprehensive strategy for the Swiss healthcare system. It identifies the challenges facing the healthcare system and defines the health-policy goals resulting from these challenges, and the measures that will have to be adopted between now and 2020. The aim is to enhance quality of life and equality of opportunity for the population as a whole, promote standards of healthcare delivery and further improve the transparency and manageability of the system. more


Non-communicable diseases – a "slow motion disaster"

Non-communicable diseases. Cancer, cardiovascular diseases or diabetes mellitus: non-communi­cable diseases are now the number-one cause of death all over the world. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan described the spread of these diseases as a "slow motion disaster" and one of the biggest health challenges of the future. more