Taking health to heart

As part of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) is responsible for public health in Switzerland; it develops Switzerland’s health policy and works to ensure that the country has an efficient and affordable healthcare system in the long term. Find out everything you need to know about our tasks and the objectives of our work here.  

Our tasks

We provide competence in healthcare, promote a healthy lifestyle and work for the general well-being of the public. We are responsible for ensuring that our healthcare system remains efficient and affordable.

The most important requirements regarding health are set out in the Federal Constitution. We are responsible for more than twenty laws and numerous ordinances that are based on these standards. The range of our tasks is correspondingly broad: We are responsible for social health and accident insurance, regulations for chemicals, medicines, legislation in the areas of biosafety, research on humans and transplantation medicine, health promotion, national programs combating addiction and sexually transmitted diseases, radiation protection, and the regulation of university medical and health professionals. Furthermore, we represent the interests of Switzerland in health matters in international organisations and towards other countries.

Our goals

The people in our country should be able to deal competently and responsibly with their health, and our healthcare system should continue to provide high quality care and be affordable and accessible to all. 

We face considerable challenges: the number of older people is growing and there is a rise in chronic diseases, demographic trends and advances in medical technology are pushing up costs, the healthcare system is not transparent enough and can only be controlled to a certain extent. To cope with these challenges in a sustainable manner, the Federal Council has adopted the ‘Health2020’ strategy, which contains 36 measures to improve the quality of life of the people in our country, increase equality of opportunity and improve transparency and quality of care. The FOPH will play a major role in implementing this. Our aim is to prepare Switzerland’s healthcare system optimally for the future.

Directorates and Divisions of the FOPH


Duties: Coordinating FOPH business with the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA); representing the FOPH or the FDHA in working groups and on parliamentary committees and international bodies; planning reform projects

FOPH COVID-19 Task Force

Duties: controlling and preventing the spread of the coronavirus in Switzerland; minimising the negative effects of COVID-19 on public health; working with partners to formulate and implement measures

Health and Accident Insurance

Duties: Preparing the foundation for arranging and developing the health, accident and military insurance systems and their implementation

Public Health

Duties: Promoting health literacy and protection among members of the Swiss public; gathering information for shaping health policy; developing new health strategies

Healthcare Professions and Consumer Protection

Duties: Assessing risks, raising awareness and drawing up protection strategies when dealing with chemicals and radiation; basic and continuing education, and the exercise of the medical professions

Digital Transformation Division

Duties: Establishing Switzerland’s Electronic Patient Record; advising on digital matters

Management Services Division

Duties: Providing services related to policy matters; advising on project and quality management; planning and steering work and resources; providing strategy-relevant information; human resources and language services

Communication and Campaigns Division

Duties: Providing information internally and externally on relevant projects at the FOPH; preparing communications on the Federal Council’s health policy decisions; running campaigns to improve health literacy among the public

International Affairs Division

Duties: Managing the FOPH’s international work; representing Switzerland’s interests at international organisations, particularly the WHO

Legal Affairs Division

Duties: Dealing with and managing legislative business; assuring coherent legislation; providing expert opinions on legal issues; representing the FOPH in legal disputes

Last modification 02.10.2020

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Management Services Division
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Berne
Tel. +41 58 462 21 11

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