FDP calls for more competition and efficiency in the healthcare system

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healthcare system

More competition and efficiency: This is how the FDP wants to combat rising health insurance premiums

The FDP presents a counter-model to the plans of the center and SP to curb healthcare costs. Instead of rationing, she calls for increased competition between insurers.

According to the FDP, patients who choose cheaper providers within the framework of alternative insurance models should be rewarded. (icon picture)

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Health care costs in Switzerland have risen from 12 to 32 billion Swiss francs per year since the introduction of compulsory health insurance in 1996. While an insured person initially paid an average of CHF 1,771 in premiums and their own treatment costs, it was CHF 4,353 last year.

There is a threat of a premium shock again this autumn. The health insurance association Santésuisse recently warned that the pent-up costs caused by the corona pandemic required a hefty premium increase of 9 to 10 percent. At the end of September, the Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) will announce by how much the average health insurance premium will actually increase. In view of this premium burden, two popular initiatives with opposite approaches are currently pending in Berne, one from the Mitte party and one from the SP.

Now the FDP is presenting its own plan to get the cost explosion under control. Accordingly, it demands “rationalization, but by no means rationing” in the health care system, as the party states in a statement of claims published on Thursday. Efficiency should be increased and bureaucracy reduced. “In this way, the quality of services can be improved and cost developments can be curbed,” write the Liberals.

Reward responsible patients

Specifically, the FDP wants to enable “real competition” between service providers, which should be based on price, cost-benefit ratio and quality. The liberals also demand that patients be more involved in decisions about health services and that alternative insurance models are given greater freedom of action.

According to the FDP, patients should also be rewarded if, for example, they “act on their own responsibility and choose cheaper providers as part of alternative insurance models”. As a further cost-cutting measure, the party lists in its paper the facilitation of parallel imports of medicines and medical products.

Hospital sector: State intervention only in emergencies

With a view to the restructuring of the hospital landscape, the cantons should, according to the FPD, develop concepts that guarantee the security of care in the hospital sector. This “instead of a comprehensive state supply planning”. State intervention should only take place if there is a risk of undersupply.

Last but not least, the liberals are calling for an increased focus on the digitization of healthcare. Among other things, this should simplify administrative work, create more transparency and enable comparisons between service providers.

In contrast to the FDP, the center party is calling for the introduction of a fixed cost brake with an initiative. As a counter-proposal, the Federal Council proposes targets for treatments. The state government has also reacted to the initiative of the SP, which wants to limit the premium burden to 10 percent of household income, with a counter-proposal: the federal contribution to the premium reduction of the cantons should be linked to health care costs and the ratio of premiums to disposable income.