Today in Switzerland For Members

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 8 Sep, 2022 Updated Thu 8 Sep 2022 08:27 CEST
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Soon you'll be able to find the most energy-friendly way to your destination. Photo by Brock Wegner on Unsplash

Proposed cuts to healthcare costs, Google maps to help Swiss drivers and other news from Switzerland on Thursday.

Government proposes measures to cut healthcare costs

Health costs in Switzerland have been soaring in recent years, with further spikes, including in insurance premiums, seen as inevitable, according to Santésuisse, an umbrella group for health insurance companies.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Alain Berset proposed cost-cutting measures, which include coordinated care networks, seen as a way to reduce unnecessary medical services. 

Hospitals, pharmacies, and various therapists would be attached to the network, and all treatments “will be invoiced at once, as if it were a single supplier”.

This approach would also ensure better oversight of what treatments are prescribed and avoid the unnecessary ones, Berset said.

It is now up to MPs to weigh in on the proposal.

READ MORE: How spiralling costs are jeopardising Switzerland’s healthcare system

Google Maps to help Swiss drivers save on gas

Usually, Google Maps is used to find the fastest route to a destination, but in these times of looming energy shortages, the app is being updated accordingly.

Google Switzerland is set to launch a new fuel-saving navigation system showing motorists the least energy-consuming routes, that is, the ones that allow them to burn the least amount of fuel.

The system works by helping drivers avoid traffic jams and  other time (and fuel) consuming bottlenecks spotted on the way to their destination.

Government sheds light on gender gap in Switzerland

A report adopted by the Federal Council on Wednesday reveals the extent of the income disparity between the sexes, especially in terms of pensions.

The total annual pension of women from all three pillars is on average 18,924 francs lower than that of men, the report found.

“The gender pension gap reflects differences in labour market participation, the consequences of family or life models, as well as gender wage inequality observed over a long period", the Federal Council said in a press release.

It added that “in European comparison, the gender gap in Switzerland is relatively large with regard to earnings and pensions. This is mainly due to the high proportion of women who work part-time".

READ MORE: Revealed: The true size of Switzerland’s gender pay gap

Bern refuses to hire foreign nationals for its police force

The cantonal parliament narrowly rejected an initiative by the Green Liberals on Wednesday to allow people without a Swiss passport to join the police force.

Although the party argued that Bern’s police corps must better represent the multi-national population, opponents of the initiative disagreed.

Despite staff shortages in the law enforcement field, cantonal security director Philippe Müller responded that “anyone who wants to be a police officer can be naturalised".

READ MORE: Jobs in Switzerland: Foreigners ‘less likely to be hired than Swiss nationals’

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/09/08 08:27

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