International hospitals in Switzerland are some of the world’s best hospitals. While its healthcare system is one of the world’s most expensive, Switzerland provides its citizens and visitors with excellent care and treatment. From highly qualified medical staff to exceptional hospitals and other medical facilities, Switzerland has one of the safest and most effective medical systems.
If you plan to travel, work or live in Switzerland, it’s important to understand its healthcare system. Hospitals will provide emergency response and care even for individuals without insurance coverage, but it can significantly cost the patient if they don’t have adequate coverage. Prepare for possible medical emergencies in Switzerland before you arrive so you can be prepared for any unexpected illnesses or injuries.
Switzerland’s Health Care Quality
Switzerland is home to Europe’s best health care system. The highly-regarded Swiss medical system includes excellent hospitals and experienced staff. Switzerland is a multilingual country, so you may see hospitals referred to as spitals, Krankenhaus or Ospedale. Some Swiss hospitals are public or operated by non-profit organizations, but most hospitals are privately owned and operated.
Swiss hospitals have extremely high care standards, and patients can expect to receive treatment from experienced care providers. Many Swiss hospitals are small, but the hospital-to-population ratio is high. Larger hospitals offer various general services, while smaller hospitals typically focus on specific disciplines. Swiss residents can access hospital treatment for emergencies, but non-emergency conditions require a general practitioner’s referral.
Cost of Health Care in Switzerland
Switzerland’s health care system provides top-notch care, but it is expensive. Switzerland requires citizens to have private health insurance, and it spends 11.3% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care costs.
European Economic Area (EEA) and European Union (EU) citizens visiting Switzerland for less than three months can access Swiss hospitals with their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). However, expatriates working or living in Switzerland for more than three months must obtain Swiss health insurance within their first three months in the country. They then have to pay a monthly insurance premium and partial medical treatment costs when they visit a health care facility.
Switzerland’s government requires everyone to sign up for a basic health insurance package through private companies, which is considered state or public insurance. However, people can also upgrade to private plans that offer more coverage. The basic state insurance level covers most of the cost for the following services:
- Dental care
- Hospital visits
- Cancer screenings accidents
- Alternative therapy
- Specialist visits
- Doctor visits
- Maternity care
- Sexual health care
- Medical transport
- Mental health care
Local authorities will sign individuals up for health insurance if they fail to do so themselves, which could force them to pay higher premiums. Any individual without health insurance loses access to health care except in emergency situations. They can still receive emergency treatments but will have to pay for their treatments out-of-pocket.
If you are visiting Switzerland short-term, you can access emergency services, and your travel insurance should cover it as long as it includes health insurance. However, you may have to pay some additional out-of-pocket costs.
Top Hospitals in Switzerland
If you are looking for English-speaking hospitals in Switzerland, you will find that most Swiss doctors and senior health professionals speak fluent English. Some hospital staff may not speak English, but hospitals in Switzerland will always have a person available to translate for you. Some of the best hospitals in Switzerland include the following:
- University Hospital of Basel
- Lausanne University Hospital
- University Hospital Group of Geneva
- University Hospital of Bern
If you are looking for the best hospital in Zurich, you will find that there are many options to choose from. Zurich is home to some of the world’s best medical facilities. If you will be visiting or living in the area for any length of time, keep a list of the best hospitals in Zurich, which include the following:
How to Prepare for Possible Medical Emergencies in Switzerland
Illnesses, injuries and medical emergencies can happen anywhere. Whether you are visiting, working or living in Switzerland, it’s important to be prepared for any medical emergencies that could occur.
Do Your Research Before You Travel
Dial 144 anytime you need emergency medical service, and an ambulance will transport you to the nearest hospital where you will receive necessary care. Other Swiss emergency phone numbers include 117 for the police and 118 for fire services.
It’s also important to research and make note of surrounding health care facilities in case you need to see a doctor for a minor illness or injury. Since Switzerland’s hospital services are reserved for emergencies and general practitioner referrals, it’s a good idea to make a list of nearby general practitioners you can visit if you experience a non-emergency medical issue.
Make Sure You Have Health Insurance Coverage
Make sure your travel insurance covers medical services in Switzerland before you arrive in the country. Even though you can still access emergency services without insurance, it can save you a lot of money on expensive hospital costs. Health insurance will also ensure you can visit a general practitioner if needed.
Add Medical Evacuation Coverage to Your Plan
In some situations, it may be beneficial or even necessary to return to your home country in the event of a medical emergency. If you become ill or injured during your time in Switzerland, you may want to return home to receive treatment from your primary physician or save money on medical costs. Some expatriates return home to be with family when they experience an illness or injury.
No matter what your reason is for needing transport, an air ambulance team can take you where you need to go while administering critical medical care. Make sure you add medical evacuation coverage to your insurance plan before you travel to Switzerland so you can have peace of mind in the event of an emergency. Medical evacuation insurance can save you money on air ambulance services so you can return home safely and securely.
Contact REVA for Safe Medical Evacuation
While Switzerland’s healthcare system is one of the world’s best, it is also one of the world’s most expensive systems. If you become ill or injured in Switzerland, you can count on excellent quality care in a top-notch facility. However, you may want to return home or transfer to another hospital for various reasons.
Some travelers and expatriates prefer to return home from Europe to their families in the event of an illness or injury. You may prefer to receive care from your primary physician or schedule necessary surgery in your home country to save money. No matter what your reason is for needing to evacuate or where you need to go, REVA can transport you there safely.
REVA’s air ambulance team provides critical medical treatment and safe flight transportation to help patients travel safely. Our highly qualified and compassionate medical crew includes paramedics, doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists. Contact REVA to learn more about our air ambulance services.