HEALTHCARE IN SWITZERLAND: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Moving to Switzerland can be an exciting adventure for any foreigner owing to the numerous benefits one can accrue from becoming a Swiss resident. You can expect a high quality of life, a great education that is internationally recognised, amazing job opportunities, and a great place to start or relocate your business.
Another important thing that you should be looking forward to is a highly efficient healthcare system. The Swiss healthcare system is considered to be amongst the very best in the world, and once you are a Swiss resident, then you will be eligible to access all of the benefits of the country’s healthcare system.
Some of the things you should know about the Swiss healthcare system include:
- Evidence of health coverage
Before you can visit Switzerland and possibly relocate there, you need to apply for a Swiss visa and a work/residence permit. In order for you to be able to successfully apply for these crucial documents, you will need to provide evidence of health insurance cover from an insurance company or public insurance cover in your country of origin or from an international insurance company.
Without this proof of prior health insurance cover, you will be unable to successfully apply for the Swiss visa. Even if you are planning to stay in the country for less than those three months, you are still required to have an insurance cover, regardless of how basic it is.
- Health insurance schemes
Switzerland maintains its world-class healthcare system through the contributions made to different health schemes by the citizens of the country. Hence, if you are planning on a Relocation to Switzerland, then you need to come fully prepared to join a health scheme, and to be making regular contributions to the selected insurance scheme. Every Swiss resident that is of age is mandated to make regular contributions to a health insurance scheme of their choice.
- Choosing a doctor
It is important to note that finding an English speaking doctor in the urban areas is quite an easy task, but it might prove laborious to find one in the rural areas. If you happen to need a doctor while in the rural areas, then you should have a translator at hand in order to allow for easy and effective communication. You should also inquire from your embassy about the doctors that speak the language that you understand.
You are allowed to choose any doctor that you want as long as your health insurance provider has no qualms with that. Some insurance companies insist that you use the doctors that have been approved by them.
It is also important to note that you can only see a doctor after registering with him/her, and you can only register with a doctor if you are signed up with the Swiss health insurance scheme.
After your appointment with the doctor, you will receive an itemized bill, which you will be required to pay in full. You should then send a copy of the bill to your insurance company in order to be duly reimbursed as per the details of your cover.
You can buy over the counter medicines as well as prescription drugs from the pharmacy. Each canton has numerous pharmacies, so you are sure to find one near your place of residence. You will need to have a prescription for many of the drugs you purchase from a pharmacy.
It is essential to point out that medication bought in Swiss pharmacies is usually quite expensive. As such, it would be prudent to buy the drugs that you know you will need in bulk before relocating to the country.