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Growing economy Swiss health costs set to exceed CHF10,000 per person

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Outpatient treatment is expected to grow faster than inpatient care over the coming years 


The average Swiss will for the first time spend more than CHF10,000 ($10,159) on health care in 2018 and 2019, according to an economic research institute and think tank. 

KOF, part of the federal technology institute ETH Zurich, says this is down to the growing economy: the more people earn, the more they spend on their health. It also bases its calculations on the growing proportion of old people in the Swiss population. 

Although growth in Swiss health care spending slowed slightly last year, it is likely to accelerate to 3.8% this year to almost CHF87 billion, KOF said on Tuesday in its twice-yearly Health Care Expenditure Forecastexternal link. This equates to CHF10,131 per inhabitant. 

“In 2019, nominal wage growth is likely to accelerate while the elderly population continues to increase,” the report said. 

“On the other hand, additional – albeit modest – cost savings are expected to come from the measures taken to shift health care more from inpatient to outpatient treatment. As a result, health care expenditure is likely to rise by 3.9%.” This would result in a total of more than CHF90 billion, or CHF10,429 a head. 

Overall, outpatient treatment is expected to grow faster than inpatient care over the coming years and, given the increasing number of people requiring care, the field of long-term care is likely to expand further, KOF said. 

The growing economic significance of health care is also reflected in the levels of consumer spending. 

“While health care accounted for only 10% of a representative basket of goods purchased by households back in 1993, now – 25 years on – it accounts for 15%. The proportion of people working in health care (measured in terms of full-time equivalents) has also grown over this period and now stands at 7.1%,” according to the report.


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