Switzerland attracts millions of tourists from across the world every year, due to its spectacular natural beauty, the enigmatic Alps and the beautifully quaint locales. This has driven The Swiss government to devise new health benefit schemes, which covers residents as well as expatriates. As a result, besides being a popular tourist destination, it is also a preferred medical destination offering the best of medical facilities.
Switzerland received a major financial boost in the health sector. Armed with a surplus of funds, the country has flourished with the development of state-of-the-art multi-speciality hospitals and health clinics. Furthermore, while most European countries continue to suffer from acute shortage of nurses, Switzerland is blessed with ample talent and skill in this field.
What are the Medical Facilities in Switzerland?
All of Switzerland’s 26 federal regions have hospitals of great repute. Ever growing and flourishing cities such as Geneva, Bern, Lucerne, Zürich and Basel offer specialised health facilities to its citizens as well as immigrants and tourists. Apart from government enterprises, private organisations have also started serving the people. For example, people with cardiology-related complications can visit Klinik Im Park in Zurich, and people with gastro-intestinal problems can visit St. Claraspital. Furthermore, all hospitals provide 24/7 emergency and trauma treatment sections, which makes Switzerland a medical fortress.
The influx of foreign nationals has complemented the radical growth of the Swiss medical fraternity. There are seemingly no language barriers between doctors and foreign national tourists, as they are well versed in English, Italian, French and German languages. Statistics also show that medical care in government hospitals is both state-of-the-art as well as affordable. So if you do fall ill or sustain some injuries while on a trip to Switzerland, rest assured that you will be well taken care of, and at no great cost.
What are the Insurance Policies for Citizens versus Travellers?
Government expenditure in Switzerland is around $5000 per capita, which is more than what the USA spends. This includes reimbursement of your medical bills, once you are back safe and sound in your home country. Of course, this policy holds good only for treatments in government hospitals, with patients who are covered under the EHIC policy. To benefit from this policy, tourists require travel insurance. Tourists need to apply for a Schengen visa (Switzerland falls under the Schengen area) and adequate insurance cover to enjoy these benefits. Estimates have revealed that close to 31% constitutes a group which pays out of their pockets for medical treatments as they are not covered by medical policies. While Swiss citizens need to enrol in medical policies monitored by Loi Fédérale sur l’Assurance Maladie or LAMal, tourists need to apply for insurance to ensure that they are adequately covered for emergency medical expenses.
All residents of the country will have to insure, irrespective of income. All people who earn money in Switzerland, will have to enroll in the medical policies, which is monitored by Loi Fédérale sur l’Assurance Maladie or LAMal. There are a wide variety of medical policies in Switzerland, and the companies strictly abide by the law. They should run a zero-profit organisation, and cannot reject any applicants. The costs of the policies are categorised and bracketed under age groups. The age group varies from 0-18, 19-25 and 26 & above.
What are the Costs of Insurance?
Anyone opting for the packages will have to pay a minimum premium of SHF300 and if they wish to add deductibles, the price goes up to SHF700. The cost is SHF350 for a child and SHF1000 for a family.Each canton provides health insurances and different cantons offer varied covers. Bonus claim facilities are also on offer, if you do not claim for any reimbursement in a particular year. Other than these recognized health policies, several supplementary policies also mushrooming in Switzerland. They do not ensure complete coverage, and operate on daily cash-benefit insurance. 88 percent of the Swiss population have such supplementary coverage, and it is quite evident that such programmes are quite popular.
The hike in expenditure in health sectors has compelled the people to opt for health policies. The Swiss government is also keeping pace with this trend. They are providing relaxation, benefits and easy reimbursement schemes.
So the next time you decide to travel to Switzerland, you do not have to worry about health concerns. It is very well taken care of.
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