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Hospital costs burden healthcare accounts

Healthcare costs rose by nearly five per cent to SFr55.3 billion ($48.1 billion) in 2007 compared with the previous year.

The increase is due to significantly higher expenditure for hospitals and healthcare homes for elderly people, according to the Federal Statistics Office on Monday.

The above-average price rise is the first in several years.

Switzerland has one of the most expensive health systems in the world behind the United States and France and spent 10.8 per cent of its gross domestic product on health in 2007.

Social security covers about 43 per cent of the costs, while the state contributes 17 per cent and the remainder is paid for by private insurance and households.

The Federal Health Office said it expected health premiums to increase up to ten per cent this year.

swissinfo with agencies

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