1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

Health and Health Care Inequalities in Switzerland: A Brief Review of the Literature (Draft)



Through a review of the published literature on inequalities in health and health care in Switzerland, this paper covers major issues of inequality in health status, health care delivery, health care financing, and relationships between social inequality and inequality in health. In relation to “globalization”, the paper contains analysis of the impact of Swiss migration policy on health inequality.

Following an introduction that contextualizes the discussion, section 2 highlights the relevant aspects of the health insurance system in Switzerland. The country’s policy related to “migration and health” is summarized in section 3. Section 4 presents work that has been undertaken on inequality in health status, and section 5 presents work on population behaviour with direct effects on health. Issues related to the health insurance system are presented in section 6, and section 7 addresses specific aspects of inequality in health care financing and the redistributive effects of health insurance. Section 8 reviews the literature dealing with inequality in the use of and access to health care; and in section 9 studies dealing with the importance of social environment on health and heath care inequalities are discussed. The authors provide some preliminary conclusions regarding the migrant population in section 10, and offer some concluding remarks and suggestions for future research in section 11.

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