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Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Services

Switzerland - Doctors, Dentists and Other Health Services

You are free to make an appointment with any doctor in your canton, subject to restrictions by your health insurance company and whether the doctor will accept new patients. However, as long as you are satisfied with your treatment, you are advised to stay with the same doctor so that your medical history will be known to him or her. Children receive separate treatment from a paediatrician (Kinderartzt), who will also give your child regular health checks. You pay for each appointment with your doctor, based on how long your consultation lasts, and should ensure you give at least 24 hours notice for cancellations to avoid incurring a charge. A typical consultation will be billed at around CHF 60 to 130. Appointments with a general family doctor are normally available quickly, either the same or the next day. Expect to wait longer to see a specialist.

In Switzerland adults must arrange and fund their own routine, corrective and cosmetic dental care and that of their children, although children do receive an annual dental check-up at school which is usually free. If you wish to claim back a portion of costs you would need to take out a supplementary health insurance policy as this will not otherwise be covered. As a private patient, you are free to see any dentist you choose. Dentists will ask new patients for a pre-payment against costs and this will be used to cover treatments up to the value of the pre-payment. After that you will generally be billed following treatment.

You register with a doctor or dentist at the same time as attending for your first appointment. There is a register of doctors, dentists and other health professionals available online at www.doctor.ch. For dentists only, see www.zahnarztvergleich.ch.

You are free to make an appointment with one of the many counselling services in Switzerland. You will not be covered on your insurance for this. If you need medication or more formal assessment and treatment for psychological issues, your doctor will be able to refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist and you will be able to reclaim the usual portion of costs via your health insurance company.

For telephone counselling or emergency help for yourself or someone you know, you can call the Swiss equivalent of the Samaritans anonymously on 143. This service is called die dargebotene Hand in German and La main tendue in French. Children and teens can call a specialist line on 147. There is also a service for parents in need of support and this is called Elternnotruf.

Useful Resources

Register of Swiss health professionals

Register of Swiss dentists

Die dargebotene Hand / la main tendue (Samaritans)
Crisis telephone service for emotional support and suicide prevention
Tel: 143

Pro Juventute
Crisis telephone service for children and young people
Tel: 147
SMS: 147

Support for parents in times of crisis
Tel: 0848 35 45 55
Email: 24h@elternnotruf.ch

Alcoholics Anonymous
English-language support for recovering alcoholics
See website for contact details of regional groups

Narcotics Anonymous
Drug addiction support
Gebiet deutschsprachige Schweiz, Postfach 360, 4010 Basel
Tel: +41 (0)61 312 48 08
Email: info@narcotics-anonymous.ch

Read more about this country

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