A day in a Swiss hospital
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A day in a Swiss hospital

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So, you’ve set up your health insurance and the day has come when you need to use a hospital in Switzerland for the first time since settling in the country. Or maybe you’ve travelled here from abroad especially for surgery. Swiss hospitals have an international reputation as some of the best in the world, providing top quality healthcare, but what can you expect when you’re a first-time patient?

If you're a foreigner in Switzerland in need of medical services, you can trust our partner Hirslanden, the largest private hospital group in Switzerland with a dedicated team for international residents.

Schedule appointments and get multi-language support from Hirslanden's top-rated medical specialists.

Get in touch with Hirslanden

What being a patient in a Swiss hospital is actually like

The first thing you’ll notice on arrival at a Swiss hospital are the impressive state-of-the-art modern facilities, always clean and well-equipped. Then it will be a relief to find that the dedicated staff members, from receptionists to nurses, are both attentive and happy to assist you. Politeness and efficiency are two qualities that the Swiss definitely have a handle on!

Whether you are having tests, out-patient treatment or surgery, everything will be explained to you in detail by medical professionals, who will go to great lengths to make sure that you understand, and agree with, what is going to happen.

Who covers hospital costs and how?

Thanks to the Swiss healthcare system, medical fees in Switzerland are usually paid for by your health insurance (though you will be expected to pay your own contribution, known as the franchise). As a foreigner living in Switzerland you must have health insurance in order to have any hospital treatment. 

The hospital will ask your insurance company to approve the costs of any procedure you may have before it takes place and an invoice for payment will be sent out afterwards.

What to expect as a patient in a Swiss hospital  

Your experience in a Swiss hospital will be radically different from anything you might expect, especially when compared to other European countries. Think more 5-star hotel with exceptional care and facilities. Even the meals are of a gourmet standard, so you’ll probably want to stay another night and be disappointed to go home!

As long as your procedure isn’t too painful, the experience can feel more like a holiday than the kind of hospital stay you’re used to. Even if you’re having out-patient treatment with no overnight stay, you can still expect the same high level of care and attentiveness.

From arrival until discharge, everything runs like clockwork

Once you’ve signed in at reception, the nursing staff will take care of you. After the usual form filling and a discussion with your specialist, it’ll be time for your tests or surgery. No frustration nor endless waiting in corridors for late appointments! You’ll be relieved to find that in Swiss hospitals everything really does run like clockwork.

After a major surgical procedure, you will initially be looked after in the monitoring ward or in intensive care, before being transferred to your own room where medical staff will still be available for your care and well-being 24/7. When you're ready to be discharged, the medical staff will inform you of any medication you will need to take. If a follow up consultation is necessary this can take place at your GP surgery or back with the specialist at the hospital.

Find out more about the Hirslanden Private Hospital Group

With 17 top-class hospitals throughout Switzerland, Hirslanden is the largest private hospital group in Switzerland and provides some of the most impressive private healthcare in the world. All the hospitals are located in peaceful, green surroundings, some with therapeutic views of lakes and mountains, others with stunning architecture.

Quite simply, Hirslanden is the best hospital group in Switzerland and a true leader in the service it provides.

Each of the 17 Hirslanden hospitals has the latest technology, ultra-modern facilities and exceptionally well-trained staff who provide a high-quality service that’s both personal and outstanding. Hirslanden doctors are medical professionals with years of experience and their skills cover a wide range of specialist disciplines. 

Driven by patient satisfaction

Patient satisfaction lies at the heart of the Hirslanden ethic. The overall satisfaction rate in December 2020 was an impressive 92.1% with 93% of patients more than happy to recommend Hirslanden to others. You can read some past patient views here

Hirslanden International: your point of contact if you're an international resident in Switzerland or have traveled to Switzerland from abroad

Hirslanden International focuses exclusively on international patients. Once you have contacted their team you will generally stay with the person who was your first port-of-call for all future enquiries. A dedicated contact ensures a smooth continuity of care from initial enquiry to the completion of your treatment. From answering any queries you might have about your treatment through to organising transport and hotels they can help you with almost anything during your entire stay.

A member of the team will be able to provide you with free advice on the full range of services Hirslanden offers. They can help you select the appropriate doctor, and then schedule an online consultation. If you require a quote, all you need to do is send any medical reports you have (if available) with a description of your current symptoms. You'll then receive a personalised quote based on an assessment done by one of the Hirslanden specialists. Your treatment costs can be covered by insurance, by a company, organisation or embassy or by yourself.

Nothing is more important than keeping you in good health, which is why high-quality medical treatment is a wise investment in you and your future.

Join Hirslanden’s discerning patient base and let their highly trained staff take the stress of your medical procedure away by providing you with a service that is caring, professional, high-class and hassle-free.


Do you have more questions related to healthcare in Switzerland?

Schedule appointments and get multi-language support from Hirslanden's top-rated medical specialists. 

Get in touch with Hirslanden