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 and chronically ill people and non-communicable diseases is increasing. In addition to a lack of qualified personnel, costs are being pushed up by demographic trends and advances in medical technology, and the healthcare system is not sufficiently transparent. The healthcare system also has a great deal to catch up on in terms of digitisation.

To cope with these challenges in a sustainable manner, the Federal Council has been pushing ahead with more than 36 measures following the adoption of the ‘Health2020’ strategy in 2013. These are aimed at improving the quality of life of the people in our country, increasing equality of opportunity and optimising transparency and the quality of care. The Health 2030 strategy is building on these measures. The Federal Council wishes to further improve the healthcare system and thus enable all people in Switzerland to receive good and affordable medical care.

The FOPH will play a major role in implementing this. Our aim is to prepare Switzerland’s healthcare system optimally for the future.

Activity reports

The FOPH publishes activity reports on various topics, for example on radiation protection and the National Programme for HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Infections. You can find the reports here.

Directorates and Divisions of the FOPH


Tasks: 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

Health and Accident Insurance

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

Prevention and Public Health Services

Tasks: Promoting disease prevention; promoting health literacy among members of the Swiss public and strengthening conditions conducive to good health; continuing development of healthcare provision; developing and implementing health strategies; ensuring education and training for healthcare professions and primary healthcare

Health Protection

Tasks: Assessing risks, raising public awareness and drawing up protection concepts for dealing with chemicals and radiation; assessing opportunities and risks of biomedicine and state-of-the-art medicine; establishing and monitoring legal frameworks

Digital Transformation and Steering

Tasks: Developing and implementing the digitalisation strategy for healthcare and the FOPH; advising on digital issues; managing cross-divisional and cross-departmental digitalisation matters and providing impetus; establishing Switzerland’s Electronic Patient Record; promoting agile, comprehensive collaboration and innovation

Management Services Division

Tasks: Coordinating political business, supporting the division; evaluation and research; language services; facility management and security.

Communication and Campaigns Division

Tasks: providing information, both internally and externally, on topics and projects that the FOPH is dealing with; preparing communications on Federal Council decisions on health policy; answering questions from the media; running campaigns to inform the public about important health issues

International Affairs Division

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

Legal Affairs Division

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

Last modification 07.02.2022

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

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