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Demonstration Swiss protest against rising health insurance premiums

Demonstration

Switzerland introduced compulsary health insurance in 1996.

(Keystone)

About one thousand people marched through the streets of Geneva on Saturday to protest against the continuous increase in health insurance premiums, according to Swiss public television RTS.

Similar rallies took place in other cities of French-speaking Switzerland and in the southern region of Ticino. 

In Geneva, this is the third protest of this kind in a year. The demonstrations are led by Patricia Leoz and Joelle Combremont, two mothers with no political affiliation, who first launched their appeal on social media networks.

"We demand that the situation, which has become unbearable, be considered an emergency," they said to the applause of demonstrators. "Excessive health insurance premiums are a burden on the budgets of many households."

In Lausanne, more than 100 people demonstrated against what they consider to be an unfair and unequal health system.

"Our health is not a commodity," read protest banners there.

Switzerland introduced compulsary health insurance in 1996. Since then, the average premium has increased by 3.9% per year.

In contrast, the projected cost of compulsory health insurance premiums in Switzerland is expected to increase by an average of 1.2% next year.

RTS/ds

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