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Health reform comes first for minister

Interior Minister Didier Burkhalter has called for a more pragmatic approach to reform the country’s health system and improve quality and efficiency.

“Ideological arguments don’t get us anywhere,” he said at a news conference 100 days after taking office.

He appealed to all sides to stop the blame game, but urged parliament to push ahead with plans to tackle increasing costs for health insurance, including the introduction of medical networks and a new hospital funding system.

The future of the social security system is also high on the agenda for Burkhalter.

He said changes were necessary to secure the state old age pensions and the occupational allowances, strained as a result of an ageing society and growing debts.

“Switzerland’s social security system is solid, but we will become vulnerable if we fail to act now,” Burkhalter added.

He pledged to seek a consolidation of the country’s education standards and maintain Switzerland’s leading international position in research.

Burkhalter has come out in favour of setting up an education ministry as part of the reform of the government and supports more international cooperation on science and research.

The portfolio of the Swiss interior minister includes health, social security, education and culture.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch


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