In 2021, Switzerland spent an estimated CHF 1.4 billion on prevention and health promotion (PHP). Between 2010 and 2021, this expenditure accounted for between 1.2% and 1.6% of all health care costs (see indicator “Expenditure on PHP by service”).

In comparison with previous years the proportions by financing scheme changed in 2021. This was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to increased expenditure by the Confederation (for example on its vaccination programmes; COVID-19 tests are not included in the indicator).

The Confederation, cantons and communes bore 44.5% of expenditure on PHP in 2021, although the differences between cantons were considerable. A further 39.0% was privately funded, either by private households or other private providers such as the Swiss Red Cross or the health leagues. Lastly, the social insurances contributed 16.5% towards expenditure.

This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).

Healthy ageing is an important objective of the Federal Council’s Health 2030 Strategy. People of all age groups should encounter conditions favourable to a healthy life. This should also allow the unfavourable cost trend in the health care system to be curtailed. PHP measures are important in making these goals more achievable. Studies show that investment in PHP pays off – for every franc invested in PHP many other costs can be reduced (Wieser et al., 2010; Bertram et al., 2018).


The indicator shows the percentage share of PHP expenditure in total health cost expenditure in Switzerland in respect of the following financing schemes: The Confederation, cantons, communes, compulsory health insurance (COPH), accident insurance (UV) and private funding. PHP expenditure by the cantons and communes are also shown as a percentage of a canton’s and its communes’ total health care expenditure. Data are updated annually.

The indicator is calculated on the basis of the Federal Statistical Office’s (FSO) “Health care costs and financing statistics”. The statistics present a synthesis of all available figures for an estimation of the monetary flows associated with the production, consumption and financing of goods and services of the Swiss health system during one year. The expenditure includes both material and personnel costs. For this indicator, the monetary flows of the various "Prevention" areas listed below are analysed (cf. "Expenditure on PHP by service". The sub-category "Tests" is not included.):

  • Awareness among population/target groups
  • Vaccination programmes
  • Accidents and injuries
  • Addiction
  • Mental health, health care in schools
  • Physical activity and nutrition
  • Other prevention

Since 2023, the statistics have been aligned with the Systems of Health Accounts methodology (SHA; OECD, 2017). The data have been recalculated with retrospective effect and are therefore different to earlier versions of this indicator. Further harmonisation with the SHA methodology in the future cannot be excluded.

The range of health promoting and preventive services in Switzerland is very diverse. There is, however, no uniformly applied definition as to what comes under prevention or health promotion. In addition to this, Switzerland’s 26 cantons finance their own prevention and health promotion independently. All this makes it difficult to assign data in a uniform manner to PHP. For this reason, expenditure can only be estimated approximately.



  • Bertram, M.Y. et al. (2018). Investing in non-communicable diseases: an estimation of the return on investment for prevention and treatment services. The Lancet. 391 (10134): 2071-2078: Study.
  • OECD, Eurostat and World Health Organization (2017), A System of Health Accounts 2011: Revised edition, OECD Publishing, Paris: Publication.
  • Wieser, S. et al. (2010). Synthesebericht – Ökonomische Evaluation von Präventionsmassnahmen in der Schweiz. Report commissioned by the Federal Office of Public Health. Winterthur Institute of Health Economics (WIG), Zurich University of Applied Sciences Winterthur (ZHAW) and the Institute for Economic Research (IRENE), University of Neuchâtel: Report (in German and French).

Further information

  • Gmeinder, M. et al. (2017): How much do OECD countries spend on prevention?, OECD Health Working Papers, No. 101, DOI: 10.1787/f19e803c-en: Study.

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