Switzerland has a shortage of doctors. Training more is one way the government hopes to alleviate the problem. However, the high cost of training and the high level of staff turnover are formidable head winds.
In Switzerland, becoming a doctor requires six years of study. At an average annual cost of CHF 120,000, the total cost comes to CHF 720,000 (US$ 818,000), reported RTS. These costs do not include everything. Costs associated with practical experience are not included. These costs are around double the cost in the United Kingdom. Medical training is the most expensive course in Switzerland, costing seven times more than a law degree.
In addition to high training costs, the public must bear the cost of high staff turnover. 34% of newly trained doctors consider dropping out of the profession after their initial practical experience, according to the Swiss student medical association.
A high workload is one reason. Contracts typically specify 50 hours a week. In reality, this is often extended to 56 hours.
Working existing doctors harder is being used to fill a shortage. But by following this strategy it is adding to turnover and pushing the shortage higher.
Swimsa, an organisation advocating on behalf of medical students, recommends changes to the way Swiss doctors are employed. Among their demands are systems to ensure working hours are enforced, cuts to the bureaucratic tasks of doctors and the creation of more study places for medical students to reduce the shortage of medical doctors.