Healthcare professionals and managing diversity

Healthcare providers are directly confronted with sociocultural diversity in their day-to-day work. The FOPH is therefore committed to improving their diversity management skills.  

Help for people who have fled Ukraine: Please refer to the information provided by the State Secretariat for Migration on the topics of residence in Switzerland and health insurance as well as the questions and answers on the SEM website. Persons with protection Status S also have rights to medical care. On the site Information for Ukrainians you can find health information in Ukrainian.

Healthcare professionals have to expect occasional difficulties when communicating with patients. Due to their origin or living conditions, socially disadvantaged individuals (particularly migrants living in Switzerland) may have specific needs regarding health and illness. Medical care and professional training must satisfy these needs in order to guarantee quality of care and patient safety.

Communication is important

Healthcare providers also have a part to play in improving the health literacy of disadvantaged patients since good communication, a mutual willingness to engage and a relationship based on trust are crucial in developing patients’ health literacy. See the study on this topic in the infobox below: ‘Compétences en matière de santé. Relation patient - professionnel de santé et accès à l’information relative à la santé’ (in French with a summary in German and English).

The FOPH is committed to strengthening the skills and expertise of healthcare professionals in the area of diversity management. You will find information about this on the following pages:  

Further information

Strengthening health literacy of disadvantaged groups

The migesplus website, a practical guide to health literacy and other ways of improving knowledge and self-reliance.

Swiss Health Network for Equity

Enabling all patients to have access to health services and high-quality treatment - this is what the Swiss Health Network for Equity is committed to together with the FOPH.

Last modification 19.10.2023

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Health Strategies Division
Health Equity Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Bern

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