OECD Reviews of Health Systems: Switzerland 2006

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The Swiss population enjoys good health and universal access to a comprehensive range of modern health services, but policy makers are faced with considerable policy challenges, particularly to contain fast-growing health spending and improve value for money. This book analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the Swiss health system. It weighs them against the key policy objectives of health-system effectiveness and responsiveness, access to care and equitable financing, efficient supply of services, and financial sustainability. The report assesses new proposals for reform of the health system and provides policy recommendations to help address current and upcoming challenges facing the Swiss authorities.

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The Performance of the Swiss Health System

Effectiveness and Quality

This chapter examines how the Swiss health system performs in terms of health achievements, prevention, and quality of health services. While the Swiss health system is relatively expensive, it delivers high health outcomes and inequalities in health are less pronounced than in most other OECD countries. However, in the field of health promotion and disease prevention, outcomes are mixed and opportunities to improve health are not currently being taken. A lack of clear designation of responsibilities in the Swiss system and incentives to invest in prevention activities are key reasons for this. Finally, while quality is recognised as an important issue, mechanisms for monitoring and managing health-care quality seem weak and make it difficult to have an overall view of the quality of the Swiss health-care system.

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