Health Literacy

We are committed to exploring and improving the health literacy of the Swiss population. The results of the Health Literacy Survey Switzerland 2019-21 are now condensed into factsheets. They also show Switzerland in international comparison. Two reports on coronavirus-related health literacy are also available.

Improving Health literacy

Health literacy refers to the ability of the individual to take decisions in daily life that have a positive impact on health. It needs to be promoted by the creation of appropriate structural conditions. Strengthening the health literacy of the population is an aim of the Federal Council's Health2030 strategy.

Optimising the information provided to the public should help people move more efficiently in the healthcare system, better prevent illnesses and manage their health with greater care. We also support efforts to improve the health literacy of disadvantaged target groups living in Switzerland. Health and social care professionals play a central role in this.

Concept on health literacy

Concept paper

On behalf of the FOPH, Careum Center for Health Literacy has developed a «Concept paper on health literacy». This publication is the result of a broad literature review as well as a process of discussions and exchanges with experts representing the three main linguistic regions. It is intended to contribute to the development of a common understanding of health literacy in Switzerland and will be the basis for future activities.

Fact sheet and video

Based on the concept paper, a fact sheet and an explanatory video on the Swiss understanding of health literacy have been published.

The fact sheet is available for download on the Careum website: Fact sheet «The Swiss understanding of health literacy»

The video is available in German. It will soon also be available in English, Italian and French.

Health literacy factsheets

The main results of the Swiss Health Literacy Survey 2019-21 are now collected in the following five factsheets:

Swiss Health Literacy Survey 2019-21

Switzerland participated in an international survey on the health literacy of its population. This survey took place simultaneously in other countries of the WHO Europe region. The results were published in the form of a national report. They are also designed to serve as the basis for future measures.

Health literacy and the COVID-19 pandemic

In addition to surveys on health literacy in general, the FOPH and partner organisations are also investigating the coronavirus-related health literacy of the population as a whole and of migrants in Switzerland.

Older studies on Health literacy

Further information

Health Equity

Our health system must be accessible to all, regardless of language, origin, social status or educational level.

migesplus: a portal for health equity

This competence center provides health information in the languages of migrants living in Switzerland.

Your Options of Counselling

If problems arise, you have the right to seek advice. If you are unable to reach agreement with your doctor or hospital, advice agencies are available. The addresses can be found here.

National Strategy Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases (NCD strategy)

A healthy lifestyle would help prevent many non-communicable diseases and reduce their consequences. This is where the NCD strategy and its partners come in.

Last modification 22.04.2024

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
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