In 2020, 2.7% of the Swiss population went without a necessary healthcare service for financial reasons. Figures have varied around this percentage by approx. 3% since 2015.
This indicator is part of the Monitoring System Addiction and NCD (MonAM) of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
All population groups should have equal opportunities to access healthcare and to achieve the best life expectancy. Particular attention is to be given to children and young people, people on a low income or with a poor educational background as well as older people and migrants.
Disadvantaged population groups frequently make insufficient or inappropriate use of necessary healthcare services. Affordable access to the healthcare system’s services for the sick, disabled and socially vulnerable is therefore one of the goals of the strategy of the Federal Office of Public Health.This serves as a basis to help plan appropriate measures.
The indicator shows the percentage of the population that for financial reasons went without a medical or dental care service although it was necessary. It is based on data from the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) and is updated on a yearly basis.
Persons interviewed (aged 16 and over) indicated whether in the past 12 months they had not had a medical or dental treatment and check-up although it was necessary. They were then asked for the main reason for going without this particular treatment or visit. The first of the eight possible answers is “for financial reasons (too expensive) or not covered by insurance”.
As of 2014, the sample for the SILC survey is taken from the new sample frame for the person and household survey (SRPH). This means that people without a fixed telephone line can now also be included in the survey. As a result, the weighting model was modified and improved in particular by the inclusion of new register data. In 2015 the survey tool was adapted in line with Eurostat. They were first asked whether the treatment that they had forgone was really necessary (or otherwise, if that treatment was nice to have or recommended even but not really necessary). Only if it was really necessary were they asked why they had forgone that treatment. Those who had forgone a treatment which was not entirely necessary were not asked the follow-up question. For this reason, the values from 2015 onwards cannot be directly compared with those of previous years (data discontinuity).
Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Tel. +41 58 462 95 05