The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

BAG wants to avoid overuse in the healthcare system

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) wants to avoid underuse and overuse in the healthcare system. A new initiative by the FOPH aims to explore the topic in greater depth with all stakeholders, as FOPH Director Anne Lévy said in an interview.

In an interview with CH Media published on Monday, Lévy said that it is not just a lack of treatment that can be harmful. Taking too much medication or taking it for too long can also make you ill. "The important thing is: the right treatment at the right time," said Lévy.

The FOPH wants to work with experts to evaluate how over-, under- or incorrect treatment can be avoided. The aim is also to examine whether a conservative method can provide equivalent but more cost-effective treatment.

Cantonal differences

Care varies from canton to canton, as Lévy said. "Depending on where a person lives, they may or may not have meniscus surgery." This is also the case for hip operations, hallux operations and the prescription of painkillers and sedatives. "We see big differences here," said the head of the FOPH.

However, federalism makes sense in the healthcare system. The Federal Office does not dictate when a new hip joint is necessary and when it is not. According to Lévy, in addition to coordination and an overview, its task is to raise patient awareness. After all, the ultimate goal is to provide good quality care and ensure patient safety.

According to a survey, the Swiss population is satisfied with medical care. Almost two thirds of respondents described the quality as "excellent" or "very good", as reported by the FOPH in December 2023. The Commonwealth Fund Foundation conducts the survey every three years in ten countries. However, satisfaction fell compared to the last survey.


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