Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Moving to Switzerland - Switzerland's Excellent Standard of Healthcare

If you are moving to Switzerland, Hamiltons are experienced in domestic, commercial and corporate moves to all UK, European and international destinations. Our moving to Switzerland service is tailored to your requirements and can include full packing, unpacking, cleaning, storage and shipment of specialist items.

Moving to Switzerland -  click here to read more about our Switzerland removals service.

There are many reasons why people consider moving to Switzerland. One of the main reasons is the quality of life. Switzerland offers a high standard of living, low taxes, low levels of crime, good schools and an excellent healthcare system. Here we shall explain how the healthcare system works in Switzerland and the benefits of moving to Switzerland.

Please note all information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, but do please check with Hamiltons' European department prior to your move.

Healthcare in Switzerland: Health Insurance

Switzerland offers a high standard of healthcare. The country does not have a national health service, so residents are obliged to buy health insurance from private insurance companies who must accept every applicant.

Individuals are responsible for taking out their own healthcare policy and cannot rely on their employer to do this. Foreigners must take out compulsory health insurance within 12 weeks of arriving in the country and all babies must be insured within three months of birth. The only people who do not need to take out private health insurance are members of permanent missions and their families, and civil servants.

A number of public and private companies offer healthcare insurance but many people register with one of the state-run companies. The basic insurance package covers most of the cost of medical treatment and hospital care. However, as a supplement to this, some people also choose to take out a private complementary policy which provides extra cover for treatments such as private ward hospitalisation or dental work.

Healthcare in Switzerland: Pharmacies

Many people in Switzerland use a pharmacy first, before consulting a doctor. Pharmacists are highly qualified and communication should not be a problem as most speak English.

Pharmacies in Switzerland are marked with a green cross and generally even the most remote mountain villages have one. A wide range of over-the-counter medicines that you would expect to find in your local supermarket are sold here and can be bought without prescription. However, some doctors are happy to write a prescription for these medicines and the cost can sometimes be covered by your insurance.

Healthcare in Switzerland: Finding a Doctor

One of the first ports of call when you move to Switzerland is to choose a doctor. You can either find one by recommendation, via the internet or through the local yellow pages where doctors are listed in the Medicin General or Allgemeine Medizin categories. Another alternative is to contact your embassy who can supply a list of doctors that speak your language.

Whilst a lot of doctors in Switzerland have a good command of the English language, it is always advisable to learn at least a few basic words to assist with communication in an emergency. The region you are locating to will determine which language is most useful to you - as in different parts Italian, French and German are spoken. It is also a good idea to find out who you will need to call outside of general surgery opening hours.

Healthcare in Switzerland: Hospitals

Your basic insurance package will cover most of your hospital care in Switzerland. The system works as follows: you are required to pay an amount towards the cost of any hospital treatment you receive in Switzerland and the percentage you pay depends on the type of policy you have. So check this aspect thoroughly when choosing your Swiss healthcare insurance. On completion of treatment, once you are discharged, you receive a bill for payment (to be made within 30 days). This is then sent to the insurance company who will reimburse you for the percentage of treatment they cover.

If you require an ambulance to take you to hospital in Switzerland, the number for the emergency services is 144. This will put you through to an operator who will contact the police, fire or ambulance services. Depending on the type of accident, you can also phone for the local air ambulance service by dialing 141, or if you are using a foreign mobile phone, +41 333 333 333.

Healthcare in Switzerland: Dental Work

Dental care is provided by the private health clinics or the public health clinics. Dental care is very expensive in Switzerland and is not covered by the basic insurance package. You may want to take out additional insurance to cover this aspect of your health care.

Moving to Switzerland - click here to read more about our Switzerland removals service.

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