From 8 December 2021, anyone in Singapore treated for Covid-19 who has not been vaccinated will need to cover the cost of their own treatment. In Switzerland, similar ideas were raised by Swiss parliamentarian Kurt Fluri in July 2021 and by Mauro Poggia, Geneva’s health minister in August 2021.
Covid patients not only reduce the level healthcare resources available to non-Covid patients, they also demand expensive care. According to the newspaper 20 Minutes, the cost of caring for someone hospitalised with Covid can exceed CHF 100,000.
In Switzerland, healthcare is funded collectively via compulsory insurance premiums and taxes under a system where everyone is covered for most things. Insurance premiums by themselves are typically insufficient to cover the cost of running cantonal healthcare systems. Taxpayers also contribute indirectly via general taxes.
Covid treatment sometimes requires intensive care (ICU). A typical spell in ICU can cost between CHF 25,000 and CHF 30,000, Christophe Kaempf, a spokesperson from SantéSuisse told 20 Minutes. However, a longer stay requiring a respirator could exceed CHF 100,000, he said.
Complex cases can become long and expensive to treat stretching from days to months in ICU, according to Martina Pletscher, a spokesperson for Zurich University Hospital. In addition, these patients can require 15 to 20 medicines a day, often more, she said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, close to CHF 1 billion has been paid out by Swiss health insurance companies, with a large part of this going towards Covid treatment, according to SantéSuisse.
Over the 7 days to 28 November 2021, the fully vaccinated made up only 23% of hospitalised Covid patients despite being a majority of the population. By 28 November 2021, 90% of those over 65 were vaccinated in Switzerland.