Paying for care Health care costs hit all-time high

The Swiss spent more than ever on health care in 2012, according to the latest data from the Federal Health Office, with 11.5% of the country’s gross domestic product going towards health-related costs. That amounted to total health expenditures of CHF68 billion ($76.5 billion).

Hospital spending saw a particularly large increase, with 9.8% more (or another CHF2.3 billion) spent on hospital care over the previous year.

On average, CHF709 was spent per month on health care for each person in Switzerland. Of that, CHF254 was covered by mandatory insurance that everyone must buy, and CHF178 was paid for out-of-pocket. Those out-of-pocket costs don't include each person's monthly health insurance premium.

The rest was covered by supplementary insurance, accident insurance and government assistance.

According to the World Health Organization, Switzerland spent the sixth-most on health care of any country in the world as a percentage of total government expenditure, with 20.6% of government costs spent on the health sector.

But when it comes to health costs as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Switzerland’s spending is on par with many of its neighbours and well behind the United States. and agencies