European Union of Private Hospitals

Subsidies are rising – high time for true costs in the hospital sector

Monitoring shows 3 billion francs of additional subsidisation by cantons:

The feared premium increases for 2023 are a cause for concern. What is regularly forgotten is that taxpayers are paying an additional amount equivalent to a 13th health insurance premium (around CHF 350/capita per year): The subsidisation of public hospitals reached a record level of around 3 billion Swiss francs in 2020. ospita calls for true costs and the withdrawal of the cantons from the ownership of hospitals.

In addition to hospital financing financed by premiums and the cantons, in 2020 the cantons for the first time provided more than 3 billion francs in additional open and hidden subsidies in the form of public services, inflated base prices and other monetary benefits. Public hospitals benefit from 93% of these tax-financed subsidies, which contributes to the fact that inefficient structures continue to operate for political reasons. The annual study conducted by the University of Basel (Prof. Dr. Stefan Felder) on the differences in tariffs and financing in the acute inpatient sector between public hospitals and private clinics (discrimination monitor) establishes that the subsidisation between 2019 and 2020 has increased at a high level by around 19 per cent (according to the study, only around half of this can be explained by COVID19 compensation payments).

The healthcare companies organised in the ospita association make a holistic and economic contribution to healthcare provision for the population at large: around 26 percent of inpatient care days1 are provided by the approximately 37,000 employees (21 percent of all hospital employees) at ospita members. ospita hospitals operate around 32 percent of the operating theatres and around 19 percent of all emergency wards in Switzerland. The current monitoring by the price supervisor proves that the tariffs of ospita members are in the lower to middle price range and thus operate economically.

Ospita calls on the cantonal and national health authorities to finally ensure that the costs in the hospital sector are true and to disclose the cross-subsidisation from taxpayers’ money on an annual basis. In addition, the public services must be systematically written out. In order to finally disentangle the multibillion-dollar role of the cantons as hospital owners, operators, supervisory, licensing and tariff approval authorities, the withdrawal of the cantons from the ownership of the hospitals is unavoidable.

This year’s Discrimination Monitor 2022 can be found here