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Health chief calls for 100 hospital closures

Switzerland has almost a third too many hospitals, according to Thomas Zeltner, the outgoing director of the Federal Health Office.

Zeltner, who will retire at the end of 2009, said in an interview on Swiss television that the country needs to close 100 of its 350 hospitals and that the remainder need to specialise.

While Swiss residents benefit from a dense network of hospitals and do not have to travel far even for specialised treatment, the system is expensive and will have to change, Zeltner believes.

Zeltner, who has served 19 years as head of the Federal Health Office, also expressed concern about the expected ten per cent average rise in health insurance premiums next year.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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