Comparisons and Analyses of Health Systems

Switzerland uses comparative and analytical studies to identify strengths, weaknesses and challenges for its health system. Switzerland is represented in various international bodies which aim to facilitate comparisons between health systems.

Comparative and analytical studies enable the Swiss authorities to assess the performance of Switzerland’s health system relative to those of other countries. The results can be used in formulating Swiss health policy. Such studies were taken into account, for example, in the elaboration of the goals of the national Health2030 strategy. At the same time, by feeding in Swiss positions and experience, the FOPH can increase the relevance of international comparisons of health systems for Switzerland.

Bodies producing comparative and analytical studies

Switzerland is represented in various international organisations and institutions which publish comparisons of health systems. These studies help to provide a picture of the health system in Switzerland and other countries which is as complete as possible. In addition, Switzerland’s participation in these bodies’ activities facilitates the maintenance of close international contacts between various actors concerned with questions of public health.

OECD: regular empirical studies

The OECD aims to promote policy approaches that will improve economic and social welfare worldwide. It produces numerous publications in which Switzerland’s health system is compared with those of other OECD countries. The most important of these is the annual “Health at a Glance” publication, which provides a comprehensive set of indicators on population health and health system performance across OECD members.

The Commonwealth Fund: international comparisons

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation whose mission is to promote high performing, equitable healthcare systems. It conducts annual International Health Policy Surveys, in which Switzerland has participated since 2010. Following each survey, the foundation publishes international comparative data on health policy topics.

European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies: in-depth analysis for evidence-based health policy in Europe

Since 2016, Switzerland has been a member of the Observatory, which is attached to the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The Observatory brings together various partners, such as national and regional governments, the European Commission, public health agencies and academic institutions. The Observatory’s mission is to use comparative analysis of health systems to provide insights supporting evidence-based health policy. The Observatory focuses in particular on engagement with leading academic institutions and on the translation of science into policy. For this purpose, key data and concrete options for policymakers are identified and international dialogue on evidence-based health policy is promoted. The most important publications include:

  • The Health Systems in Transition (HiT) series, with provides detailed reviews of health systems in member countries of the WHO European region or the OECD. The most recent review of the Swiss health system appeared in 2015.
  • Health Systems and Policy Monitor (HSPM), a continually updated platform providing detailed descriptions of European health systems and information on national health policy reforms. The information on the Swiss health system is regularly updated.

In addition, independent experts are sporadically commissioned by the FOPH to conduct specific comparisons or analyses.

Further Information

International Health Policy Survey (IHP) of the Commonwealth Fund Foundation

Here you’ll find the results of the health policy surveys of the CWF.

Last modification 03.11.2023

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