Swiss health insurer Helsana will cut 500 jobs from its workforce following significant profit losses in 2009, it announced on Wednesday.
The layoffs amount to nearly one-sixth of the company’s staff and will take place over the next 18 months, Helsana said. The company said a portion of the job cuts would come from natural wastage, or attrition.
In 2009 the Helsana Group, which provides health insurance to nearly two million people in Switzerland, suffered a net profit loss of SFr58 million ($54 million). The company collected SFr5.5 billion in premiums last year.
Helsana said it wanted to slash operational costs by SFr80 million by 2012 to improve its competitiveness. Executives said they would also “critically examine” material costs.
Helsana had announced at its annual media conference in late January that it would scrutinise its operations to become more efficient.
swissinfo.ch and agencies