The Swiss government is looking hard to find ways to reduce the cost of health care. One idea is to make accident and emergency patients pay a CHF 50 fee before treatment.
National counsellor Thomas Weibel put forward a parliamentary initiative to levy a CHF 50 charge at the time of hospital admission. The measure aims to dissuade people from going to accident and emergency with minor ailments. Hospital treatment is expensive compared to a visit to a family doctor.
In 2015, the cost of an average hospital visit was CHF 427, more than twice the cost of a visit to a family doctor.
Children and patients sent by a doctor would be exempt from the charge.
Some health professionals support the accident and emergency admissions charge idea.
According to the newspaper NZZ, the health commission voted 17 to 7 in favour of the initiative, which means it has a chance of passing.