7. Right to be Accompanied

During their stay in a care facility, patients have a right to receive assistance and advice. They are entitled to receive support from their relatives or an external person and to maintain contact with their friends and acquaintances. 

The practical situation

At their express wish, patients can be assisted by relatives or an accompanying person from outside the facility when they are admitted to hospital or a residential or nursing facility. These individuals may be present during discussions between patients and healthcare professionals or the facility management.

Accompanying persons from outside the facility provide patients with advice and moral and personal support. To a certain extent, they make up for a lack of social contacts, particularly for patients who do not get their own visitors. Although they can assist patients during admission to hospital or a care facility, they cannot act in the place of patients or represent them.

Right to assistance during involuntary committal

People who are committed to an institution involuntarily have the right to be accompanied by a trusted individual of their choice who will provide assistance during the stay.

In some cantons, independent non-profit organisations can provide an accompanying person.

Can I receive visits from anybody I want while I am in a medical facility?

Yes, throughout the time you are in a hospital or nursing home you can decide who is allowed to visit you during normal visiting hours (parents, relatives, friends, acquaintances, people you have invited) unless there are serious medical reasons why this is not possible (for example, a risk of infecting other people or if you are in intensive care).

Last modification 18.07.2019

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Health Strategies Division
Health Equity Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Berne
Switzerland
Tel. +41 58 462 74 17
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