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Swiss health costs second highest in the world

Switzerland has the second most expensive health system in the world behind the United States

(swissinfo C Helmle)

Health care costs are continuing to rise, according to the latest statistics which show that health spending accounts for ten per cent of GDP.

The authorities say health care costs rose by 4.1 per cent to SFr43.3 billion ($27.7 billion) in the year 2000.

The rise is slightly above average compared with the previous five years, according to a statement by the Federal Statistics Office.

Private households paid about SFr1 billion more towards health costs than they did in 1995 - an increase of about two and a half per cent. The contribution from hospitals, doctors and health insurers amounted to about 32 per cent of the total.

Quality, but at a price

Switzerland has one of the most expensive, but also one of the best health care systems in the world.

According to 1998 figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) health costs in Switzerland make up for 10.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

This puts Switzerland in second place behind the United States with 12.9 per cent of GDP, and in front of Germany with 10.3 and France and Canada which both spend 9.3 per cent of GDP.

Moves are underway in Switzerland to reduce health care costs. They include limiting the number of doctors, increasing the offer of non-brand medications on the market as well as changing the system of health premiums.

swissinfo with agencies

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