Healthcare provision for undocumented migrants

Undocumented migrants are particularly vulnerable when it comes to health. The FOPH has funded studies on the health status of this group and their access to Swiss healthcare. It also prepared a report in response to a postulate on the issue.

Switzerland is home to an estimated 90,000 undocumented migrants, i.e. people without a residence permit, who often live in precarious conditions. From a legal perspective, undocumented migrants are required, like all persons resident in Switzerland, to take out health insurance. They are also entitled to premium reductions and to access basic Swiss healthcare services. The health insurance companies are obliged to accept undocumented migrants and are not allowed to pass on information about them. The same confidentiality obligation applies to healthcare professionals.

Health insurance for undocumented migrants

Although the legal framework regarding access to healthcare for undocumented migrants is relatively broad, in practice there are various issues. These are described in the study ‘Health Care for Undocumented Migrants in Switzerland’, which was funded by the FOPH. The study and factsheets containing the key findings are available in the infobox below.

The FOPH also prepared a report in response to a postulate on health insurance for undocumented migrants and their access to healthcare, see infobox: postulate report Bea Heim 09.3484 and information sheet on health insurance for undocumented migrants in Switzerland.  

Last modification 11.12.2019

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
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