Vulnerable groups

Certain sectors of the population are particularly vulnerable in terms of harm to health, owing either to their physical or emotional constitution (e.g. disability, mental illness, addictive disorder, pregnancy, advanced age, migration background, etc.) or to their socio-economic situation.

30.06.2017

"The relatives have a right to be heard."

Interview with Sibylle Glauser. Ms Glauser is President of the Psychiatry Network for Relatives (PNR), the psychologist in charge of the service for counselling relatives at University Psychiatric Services in Berne (UPD AG), and she is a member of the care team of the Canton of Berne, which provides emergency psychological support. Sibylle Glauser talked with spectra about working with relatives in psychiatry and is affected herself – her brother has suffered from schizophrenia for many years. We learned that information from discussions with relatives is important both for the patient and for the relatives, who feel appreciated and relieved as a result. more

30.06.2017

Information for migrants, their relatives and other interested persons and institutions

Information. In Switzerland, numerous publications address migrants to inform them on health issues in their mother tongue. Owing to the various language and structural barriers they face, access to preventive medicine and healthcare is difficult for many of them. The internet site migesplus.ch is an important source for health guides translated in various languages of the migrant population. more

07.03.2016

Improved access and respect for human rights in the treatment of opioid dependence

Pompidou Group. In many countries, the prescription of opioid medicines such as methadone or buprenorphine is subject to rigorous restrictions. An expert group of the Council of Europe's Pompidou Group, the international cooperation group to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs, has now spoken out in favour of a paradigm shift: decisions to permit or prohibit the prescription of opioid medicines should be based on scientific findings and respect for human rights rather than on a repression-oriented approach. These medicines are the best possible treatment for large numbers of dependent opioid users, and therefore, in compliance with human rights, access to them should not be withheld or subjected to restrictions. On Switzerland's initiative, the experts nominated by participating Pompidou Group Member States are drawing up guidelines to help member states review their regulations on this form of therapy. Switzerland has been mandated to head this project. more

28.10.2015

Federal Council decides on further measures to counter female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is a violation of human rights and a criminal offence in Switzerland. The Federal Council therefore intends to continue its efforts to counter it. This includes in particular support for measures undertaken by a network that opposes female genital mutilation. more

08.09.2015

"Strengthening health skills cannot be the task of public health policy alone."

Six questions for Stefan Spycher. Health skills are a key factor in the physical and mental wellbeing of the individual; they reduce pressure on the health system and consequently on society as a whole. But how can health policy help to establish and develop these skills in all people, and what is the state doing specifically to improve equality of opportunity? Stefan Spycher, Head of the Health Policy Directorate and Vice Director of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) provides some answers. more

06.08.2015

Reducing healthcare-associated infections in hospitals and care homes

The NOSO strategy. An estimated 70,000 people contract infections in Swiss hospitals and nursing homes every year, and some 2,000 die as a result. In late 2015, Switzerland will announce its first ever national strategy to counter this problem, the NOSO strategy. The objective is to enable standardised monitoring of these healthcare-associated infections, control outbreaks and to strengthen preventive measures. more

01.09.2014

At first hand

Editorial Andrea Arz de Falco. The French general and statesman Charles de Gaulle once said: "Old age is a shipwreck". This comparison accurately illustrates what people long thought about old age. In earlier times life was often no more than a fragment, people regularly died young. But those who lived to an advanced age often experienced it as an affliction, once the work and family that had given meaning to their lives were gone and physical ailments and loneliness increasingly set in. more

01.09.2014

"No longer exhaust every practical possibility, but focus on the patient's peace of mind"

Palliative care/publication. The term "palliative care" is used when the focus of treatment is no longer on cure or life-prolonging measures, but on alleviation of suffering and on the patient's quality of life. Palliative care is playing an increasingly important role in care of the ageing. A brochure is available that provides a touching portrait of this approach in practice, with sensitive contributions from patients and health professionals. more

01.11.2013

Sexual health and transgender people: uncharted waters?

A neglected and vulnerable group. Many international studies reveal a high level of vulnerability in the health of the transgender community, especially to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. more

01.11.2013

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