In 2019, the SAMS issued a position paper on sustainable development of the health system, in which it called for reforms and proposed specific measures, including the elaboration of a Federal Health Act. The establishment of such legislation is also specified as a key goal in the follow-up position paper which appeared in 2022 – «Promotion of health services respecting planetary boundaries». Work on this topic has now been initiated.
At the national level, the Swiss health system is currently regulated primarily by the Federal Act on Health Insurance, which deals with the financing of healthcare. However, national health policy should be more than a matter of social insurance: there is a need for a more comprehensive approach and thus for broader legal foundations.
To give concrete form to the idea of a Federal Health Act, the SAMS has established a working group, which is to discuss whether such national legislation is indeed required and, if so, what it should cover and how it could be realised.
To this end, the following questions are to be addressed:
- How is Switzerland’s health system currently organised, and who is responsible for what?
- To what extent is it possible for the health system to be further developed within the existing legal and regulatory framework?
- What are the main management instruments which need to be defined to achieve the goals of public health, and what purpose could a Federal Health Act serve?
The initial results of this work are expected to be available at the beginning of 2024.
Professor Henri Bounameaux, Satigny, SAMS President
Valérie Clerc, Bern, SAMS
Professor Luca Crivelli, Manno, SAMS
Dr. Stefan Essig, Luzern, Academic Medicine
Professor Olivier Guillod, Corcelles, Health Law
Dr Thomas Heiniger, Zürich, Health Policy
Daniel Scheidegger, Arlesheim, SAMS
Professor Stéfanie Monod, Lausanne, Unisanté, Lead
Dr Chantal Grandchamp, Lausanne, Unisanté
Stéphanie Pin, Lausanne, Unisanté