In a letter to health minister Alain Berset, the directors of the university hospitals of Zurich, Bern, Basel, Lausanne and Geneva said the pandemic was forcing them to postpone operations for patients with other life-threatening conditions.
Gregor Zund, hospital director at the Zurich University hospital, said he wanted to see a full lockdown, including a ban on skiing, to bring the epidemic under control.
The newspaper SonntagsZeitung has reported that more than 4,000 operations have been postponed at the five hospitals since October.
Hospital directors said they feared that a third wave of coronavirus infections early next year could trigger a collapse in the health system, as intensive care beds were becoming scarce.
Switzerland has some of the worst per capita infection rates in Europe and the government fears the situation could spin out of control over Christmas.
On Friday it was announced that all shops, bars and restaurants would close from 7:00 pm until January 22, with the exception on the nights of December 24 and 31.