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Healthcare costs as the main concern of the Swiss population in 2023

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 22 November 2023

According to the Credit Suisse Worry Barometer, health and health insurance are the Swiss population’s biggest concerns. Environmental protection and pensions follow in next place, while the war in Ukraine is no longer one of the main concerns.

Healthcare costs as the main concern of the Swiss population in 2023
(KEYSTONE/Gaetan Bally)

In 2023, the research institute gfs.bern was once again commissioned by Credit Suisse to survey the Swiss population on their concerns and identity characteristics. The main concerns in the current year were health issues and health insurance. This topic has increased by 16 percentage points compared to the previous year to 40 percent, according to a press release issued on Wednesday.

Environmental protection was thus replaced as the top concern of the previous year with 38%. In third place is the topic of old-age provision/AHV with 32%.

Just over a quarter of respondents cited relations with Europe and energy issues. According to the study, these two concerns ranked fourth and fifth. Immigration (23%), inflation (22%), housing costs/rent prices (22%), refugees (20%) and social security (15%) were also among the top ten most frequently cited concerns of voters in Switzerland

War in Ukraine no longer an issue

Overall, seven of the 20 largest expenditure items fell into the areas of living costs, standard of living and financial security. According to the big bank, there is a shift in perspective away from the economy and work towards individual household budget issues.

The war in Ukraine no longer made it into the top ten concerns of the population, falling to eleventh place with 13%. According to Credit Suisse, concerns about unemployment have also fallen significantly, as in the previous year, and are no longer among the top 20 concerns of voters.

Differences in generation and language region

The main cross-generational concerns are health and health insurance, the big bank wrote in its press release. Generation Z (18 to 28-year-olds) is the exception. They are most concerned about the environment and climate change. The younger the respondents are, the less concerned they are about immigration and foreigners.

In the so-called baby boomer generation (59- to 77-year-olds), this concern is shared by 29 percent, compared to 20 percent each in generations X (44- to 58-year-olds) and Y (29- to 43-year-olds).

There are also differences between the language regions. According to Credit Suisse, the environment/climate change is still the top concern in French-speaking Switzerland, ahead of health/health insurance. At 22 percent, the war in Ukraine also concerns significantly more people in French-speaking Switzerland.

In addition to concerns about health insurance, foreign policy issues such as immigration, asylum issues and relations with the EU and Europe dominate in German-speaking Switzerland and Ticino.

Critical of Europe

Trust in the EU is comparatively low at 27%, according to the Worry Barometer. However, 80% of voters still consider stable relations with the EU to be important. The preferred approach for shaping relations with the EU among respondents is a further development of the bilateral agreements.

The Swiss population’s trust in their own institutions is better. The Federal Council (72%; +4), the Federal Supreme Court (71%; +5) and the police (69%; +2) enjoy a high level of trust and have increased compared to the previous year. The political parties gained the most trust in the 2023 election year (37%; +13).

The gfs.bern institute surveyed 1551 voters from all over Switzerland for the Worry Barometer last August and September. The statistical sampling error is 2.5 percentage points.

©Keystone/SDA

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