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Survey reveals Swiss doctor-to-patient ratio

Parliament is debating the number of doctors allowed to register and work in Switzerland Keystone Archive

Switzerland has 19 privately practising doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, according to a newly published survey.

The report, commissioned by the umbrella organisation of Swiss health insurance companies, Santésuisse, reveals that there remain great regional differences in the number of residents per medical practitioner.

According to the report’s co-authors, Gianfranco Domenighetti and Luca Crivelli, the highest density of doctors is to be found in canton Basel City, with a ratio of 36 doctors per 10,000 residents.

Canton Geneva follows closely behind, with a ratio of 32 per 10,000, while in certain central Swiss cantons the figure drops to less than 13.

Impact on health care

Despite the findings, researchers concluded that the doctor-to-patient ratio did not have any significant impact on the level of service or costs of medical care across the country.

The latest report comes amid a background of parliamentary debate on the number of doctors allowed to register and work in Switzerland.

Parliament is currently debating a government plan to amend the 1996 health insurance law, which attempted to slow down the growth in health expenses.

One of the most controversial proposals under discussion involves the imposition of a cap on the number of medical doctors in Switzerland.

Statistics suggest the number of practising physicians has more than doubled over the past three decades to nearly 14,000.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR