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Average annual healthcare costs hit 9,600 francs in Switzerland in 2020

Statistics published on 26 April 2022 show health expenditure in Switzerland rose to CHF 9,648 (US$ 10,8001) per person in 2020, making Switzerland (probably) the second biggest per-capita healthcare spender in the world – the OECD has not yet published 2020 expenditure for the US, which is typically the world’s highest spender.

Average annual healthcare costs hit 9,600 francs in Switzerland in 2020

Photo by Anna Shvets on

Healthcare spending rose 1% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office (FSO). The rise in expenditure reflects the Covid-19 pandemic. Lower spending on visits to doctors and on outpatient treatment (CHF -0.8 billion) was offset by higher government healthcare spending (CHF +1.2 billion), mainly on hospitals.

The net 1% rise in 2020 was below the average annual rate rise in Switzerland over the last five years (+2.3%).

59% of the total CHF 9,648 per capita cost in 2020 was paid directly by individuals in the form of health insurance premiums (36%) and direct out-of-pocket payments after receiving healthcare (23%). The rest was paid for indirectly via employers (7%) and taxes (34%) – taxes were used to directly fund healthcare (22%), mainly hospitals, and to fund health insurance premium subsidies paid to residents on lower incomes.

Significantly less of the total was spent on men (44%) than on women (56%). The difference is apparent between the ages of 21 and 45 (+46%), the period in life when women are likely to have children. However, the most marked difference is between 75 and 96+(+70%), something likely related to the 4 year gap in life expectancy between men and women in Switzerland. People over the age of 75 account for 29% of Switzerland’s healthcare expenditure and women account for 63% of this.

Internationally, with the exception of the US, Switzerland leads on per capita healthcare expenditure by a wide margin – based on provisional OECD data that does not yet include some OECD nations. The next biggest spender in 2020 was Norway (US$ 7,9251), which spent 27% less than Switzerland. Germany (US$ 6,024), Austria (US$ 5,821), the UK (US$ 5,495), France (US$ 5,028) and Italy (US$ 3,229) were all well behind Switzerland (US$ 10,800). The OECD has not yet published 2020 data for the US, which is likely to retain its top spot as the biggest spender.

However, measured as a percentage of GDP, Switzerland (11.8%) trails the UK (12.8%), Germany (12.5%), France (12.4%) and probably the US – in 2019 the US spent 16.8% of GDP on healthcare compared to Switzerland’s 11.3%.

1 Using the exchange rate at the end of 2020.


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Le News
The newspaper Le News is a free, quality, local English language newspaper launched on 31 October 2013. Le News fills a gap in local Swiss media for the numerous English-speakers living and visiting Switzerland. In late January 2015 we decided to put our print medium on hold and focus on our digital media presence.
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