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Switzerland – Emergencies

Switzerland is a beautiful country known for its scenic landscapes, skiing resorts, and luxury watches. However, like any other country, emergencies can arise, and it is essential to know what to do in case of a medical emergency. This article will provide you with information on emergency medical services in Switzerland, including the phone number to call for assistance, where to go for treatment, and the costs involved.

Phone number for emergency medical assistance in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the emergency phone number is 112, which you can dial from any phone, including payphones, without charge. If you require immediate medical attention, calling this number will put you through to the emergency medical services. The operator will ask for your location, the nature of the emergency, and any other relevant information, including if the person involved has any medical conditions or allergies.

Mental health emergencies

For mental health emergencies in Switzerland, you can call the emergency medical services number 112 or the Swiss emergency number for mental health, 143. This helpline is available 24/7 and offers support to individuals experiencing mental health crises. The service is free, and you can call from any phone in Switzerland.

Where to go for emergency medical treatment in Switzerland

In Switzerland, there are several options for emergency medical treatment, depending on the severity of the condition. If it is a life-threatening emergency, you should call the emergency medical services on 112, and they will dispatch an ambulance to take you to the nearest hospital. If you are in a remote location, you can call Rega, Switzerland’s air ambulance service, on 1414, which provides rescue and medical assistance.

If it is not a life-threatening emergency, you can visit a hospital emergency department (Notaufnahme or Urgence) or an out-of-hours medical centre (Notfallzentrum or Centre Médical de Garde). You can find a list of hospitals and medical centres on the Federal Office of Public Health website.

Is emergency treatment free in Switzerland or is there a cost involved? Is insurance required?

Emergency treatment in Switzerland is not free, and there are costs involved. However, emergency medical services are provided to everyone, regardless of whether they have health insurance or not. According to Swiss law, all residents and non-residents must have health insurance, which covers emergency medical treatment.

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If you are a Swiss resident, your health insurance will cover the cost of emergency medical treatment. However, if you are a non-resident, you will have to pay for the treatment and then claim it back from your insurance provider.

It is important to note that if you require non-emergency medical treatment, such as a visit to a doctor, you will have to pay for it yourself, and it is advisable to have travel insurance to cover any medical costs.


In conclusion, emergencies can happen to anyone, and it is essential to know what to do in case of a medical emergency in Switzerland. The emergency phone number is 112, and it is available 24/7. If you require emergency medical treatment, you can visit a hospital emergency department or an out-of-hours medical centre. Emergency treatment is not free in Switzerland, and costs are involved. Therefore, it is advisable to have health insurance or travel insurance to cover any medical costs.

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