An initiative proposed by Switzerland’s Centre Party looks set to move to the next phase after government counter proposals were rejected this week, reported SRF.
The cost of Switzerland’s compulsory health insurance will rise by 8.7% next year, something that has pushed the issue to the top of voters’ list of concerns – in a recent poll 51% listed the rising cost of health insurance as a concern.
The Centre Party has decided a cost brake is the best way to deal with the continued rapid rise in the cost of Swiss healthcare. According to the organisers, for years, health insurance premiums have been rising faster than wages and are blowing an ever-larger hole in peoples’ budgets. They say 20% or CHF 6 billion of the costs of compulsory basic insurance could be saved without any loss of quality. What is needed is a mechanism to make this happen.
The Centre Party points out that medication in Switzerland sometimes costs five times as much as it does abroad, many procedures carried out on an inpatient basis could be done on and outpatient basis and electronic patient records could save CHF 300 million annually.
Parliament also wants to curb the growth of health insurance premiums with cost and quality targets in the healthcare system. However, the Centre Party said this week that parliament’s indirect counter-proposal to the cost brake initiative does not go far enough and that it will move forward with plans for a referendum.
If accepted, the premium brake will require the federal government and cantons to take measures if healthcare costs rise more than 20% faster than general wages.
SRF article (in German)