Health spending continues to rise

Staff-intensive: hospitals and other medical facilities © KEYSTONE / GAETAN BALLY

Increasing numbers of elderly people plus the stable Swiss economy have resulted in a 4.1% increase in health care expenditures this year.

Similar increases can be expected in the next two years, according to a forecast published on Tuesday by the KOF Swiss Economic Institute at federal technology institute ETH Zurich. Specifically, KOF predicts a 3.9% increase in 2018 and 4% in 2019. 

The forecast attributes these growth rates to “far-reaching political measures on the one hand and rising salaries and incomes on the other”. It also noted an increase in expenditures in the outpatient sector. 

While overall per capita spending on health care was CHF9,590 ($9,672) in 2016, KOF puts it at CHF9,884 for this year and CHF10,176 for 2018. 

“Since the health care sector is a staff-intensive sector, salary dynamics are particularly important in the development of overall health care expenditure. Alongside these economic factors, the age distribution of the population is also decisive,” explains the half-yearly KOF Forecast for Health Care Expenditure, which was carried out in collaboration with internet comparison service

The forecast does not expect much savings from government efforts to control drug prices

Meanwhile, private health spending is also on the rise, reports KOF. Health-related costs accounted for 10% of household budgets in 1993; today they account for 15%.

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