Ahead of Forum des 100, a Swiss health conference organised by the newspaper Le Temps, the organisers conducted a survey to see how many would be prepared to have their lifestyles electronically monitored in return for a discount on what they pay for health insurance.
According to the results, 47% were happy to have their level of physical activity monitored electronically via some sort of bracelet. The idea is controversial and could potentially be used to monitor tobacco and alcohol consumption, exercise, and excessive eating, something which plagues health across the world and is behind numerous non-communicable diseases.
- Swiss eat poorly and excessively, according to government survey (Le News)
- Swiss report recommends eating more foods typically high in saturated fats (Le News)
A study funded by the Gates foundation estimates that 57% of Swiss men over 20 are obese or overweight. The same percentage for Swiss women is lower at 16%. The World Health Organisation reckons non-communicable diseases now account for 63% of deaths globally.
Speaking to RTS, Christophe Kaempf from Santésuisse, an association representing Swiss health insurers, opposes the idea. He thinks Switzerland’s basic health insurance has a social purpose based on the principle of solidarity. For him, basing premiums on levels of physical activity goes against this philosophy.
In addition, the survey asked if those engaging in dangerous sports or activities, such as smoking, drinking or drug taking, should pay more. 60% were in favour of this.
While politics is far apart on some health ideas, such as a single health insurer, the gap between left and right is far lower when it comes to penalising those engaging in unhealthy activities.