The Swiss health insurance system guarantees access to a range of quality medical care services and appropriate medical treatment for all insured people. Firstly, make sure to sign up for insurance for all family members and yourself. This should be done within three months after your arrival in Switzerland. You will be required to show proof of health insurance to your pharmacist, doctor or paediatrician.
In general, you are entitled to choose your own doctor or paediatrician unless there are specific conditions mentioned in your health coverage. Additional costs for treatment, stay in a private or semi-private ward, or services provided by complementary medicine (acupuncture, homoeopathy…) will be at your own expense or can be covered by supplementary insurance.
Your first point of contact will be your general practitioner (for adults) or paediatrician (for children). A list of your nearest general practitioner or specialist can be found under doctorfmh.ch, the official, comprehensive list of doctors in Switzerland (under “Advanced search” you can search for languages). In case of need, go to the emergency service of your closest hospital. If you need an ambulance, please call the free phone number 144.
If you cannot reach your doctor or do not need urgent medical treatment, there is a free helpline open 24/7. A medical professional will help evaluate the situation and give advice on what to do: Medical helpline 0848 133 133.
In the case of minor injuries or sicknesses, do not hesitate to go to your closest pharmacy to seek advice. Pharmacies are easy to find: a big green cross is the sign for a pharmacy. Some of them may be open 24/7.
Please note that dental procedures are not included in the basic health coverage other than in the case of a serious month or jaw disorder or in connection with a severe generalized disorder. In Switzerland, you have a choice of dental clinics and an abundance of smaller dental practices. All of them offer high quality dental care. Children receive dental care from school dentists.