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Health Restrictions on doctors’ practices remain in place

Doctor taking the blood of a patient

The Swiss health system is known for its quality and its steadily rising costs.


The government has agreed to extend a freeze until 2021 on the number of medical doctors, pending an overhaul of the Swiss healthcare system in a bid to reduce costs.

A freeze imposed by parliament in 2014 is set to expire at the end of next June, according to the Federal Health Office.

The current regulations were not sufficient to limit the number of doctors or to improve quality of medical services, it added in a statement published on Wednesday.

Currently, doctors who haven’t worked at least three years in a licenced Swiss health institution are subject to official limits. They can neither open a practice nor cooperate with a mandatory health insurance company.

In May, the government presented proposals to cap the number of doctors and set tougher conditions for professional skills requirements. It also said that cantonal authorities should be free to limit the number of practising doctors in their regions.

Parliament is currently considering plans for a legal reform which could include further limits, including an obligation to participate in an electronic database sharing patient information.

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