Pandemic impact on Swiss healthcare bill becomes apparent

State funded pandemic measures swelled the Swiss healthcare bill in 2021. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Spending on healthcare in Switzerland rose 5.9% in 2021, which was largely inflated by emergency state funding to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, official figures reveal.

This content was published on April 25, 2023 - 10:26

Health expenditure rose CHF4.8 billion ($5.4 billion) to CHF86.3 billion, which represents 11.8% of total Swiss economic output.

The taxpayer ended up with a CHF1.8 billion bill for pandemic measures that increased state-funded health services by nearly 75% in 2021.

Hospital expenditure increased 4.4% or CHF1.3 billion, according to Federal Statistical Office (FSO) figures released on Tuesday.

The total 2021 healthcare bill equated to CHF827 per person, per month. Private households contributed CHF184 of this sum on average.

Healthcare costs have risen by an average 3% over the last five years, the FSO states. Health insurers warn that this cost continues to spiral out of control in Switzerland.

Earlier this month, the Santésuisse umbrella group for insurers said costs had risen 7.5% per capita in the first two months of 2023.

Health insurance premiums jumped by an average of 6.6% between 2022 and 2023, in connection with the pandemic and catch-up effects.

But Santésuisse said an increase of 10% would be necessary to meet increasing costs that are rising faster than ever.

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