How can equity in healthcare be measured? The FOPH supports research projects that shed light on various facets of disadvantage in healthcare. The findings obtained can be used as a basis for optimisation.
When studying health equity, average values on quality and access often paint a deceptively positive picture. New methods are needed to identify social gaps and inequalities. The studies «Indicators on Healthcare Equity» and «Forgoing Healthcare in Switzerland» provide data and facts on this topic.
Indicators on Healthcare Equity
A research team from the University of Lausanne and Unisanté has succeeded in measuring equity in Swiss healthcare on the basis of potentially avoidable hospital admissions. The researchers were also able to geographically determine where problems frequently occur, and quantify potential cost savings.
The results of the study «Indicators on Healthcare Equity in Switzerland. New Evidence and Challenges» show that there is a clear link between potentially avoidable hospital admissions and socio-economic disadvantage. The concentration of healthcare providers and cultural diversity also play a role. The study also includes recommendations on how equity in healthcare can be improved.
A research team from the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) investigated the forgoing of medical and dental care in Switzerland. It was found that socioeconomically disadvantaged people forgo these health services more frequently.
In Switzerland, people with lower household incomes, foreign nationals (or those born abroad) and people with chronic diseases (e.g. obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases) are particularly likely to forgo healthcare services. This foregoing can also have a negative impact on health in the longer term.
You’ll find an overview of the current research projects on equity in healthcare and health promotion on this page (available in French or German):
Projets de recherche en cours sur l'équité en santé
Last modification 20.09.2022
Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Health Strategies Division
Health Equity Section
Tel. +41 58 463 30 11