Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Another way to cut healthcare proposed, Switzerland ranks as the "best country in the world", and other Swiss news in our roundup on Thursday.
Non-emergency treatments raise the cost of healthcare
The Federal Council has recently issued its recommendations on curbing the spiralling costs of healthcare, and MPs are discussing the ways to keep expenses under control as well.
One of the many reasons for high costs is that many people use hospital emergency services for minor injuries or trivial symptoms.
According to Martin Kuhn, managing director of Regio-144 emergency transport, the number of minor cases for which the ambulance service is called is increasing sharply.
“Non-serious hospital emergencies contribute to high costs and premium growth," said Matthias Müller, spokesperson for Santésuisse, an umbrella group for insurance companies.
Both suggest that in order to stem the sharp rise in healthcare costs, people who use emergency resources unnecessarily should pay for the service out of their own pocket, rather than have it billed to insurance companies.
Home working could be back this winter
Working from home became a widespread practice during the Covid pandemic but now a number of Swiss employers are considering this option again — though for a different reason.
In order to save on heating fuel, as urged by the government, some companies, including Novartis, are looking into the possibility of "leaving employees at home", and making them work remotely.
This would save energy in the long run, as the web platforms used by companies for their work activities would use less electricity compared to the physical sites.
Switzerland ranked 'Best Country in the World
This may come as no surprise to those familiar with various international rankings and have seen Switzerland get high scores numerous times in the past.
Now the new US News & World Report has also ranked Switzerland the 'best in the world' in 2022.
The reason for the top position, according to the Report, is that Switzerland has "low unemployment, a skilled labour force and one of the highest gross domestic products per capita in the world. The country’s strong economy is powered by low corporate tax rates, a highly-developed service sector, and a high-tech manufacturing industry".
Out of 10 criteria on which countries were rated, Switzerland got 100 points (out of 100 maximum) for its business sense, also ranking high (96.7) for quality of life.
Switzerland should better promote its languages, Council of Europe says
French and German should be promoted more in Swiss cantons where they are non-official languages, while Italian and Romansh need to be pushed more in economic and social life, according to a report released by the Council of Europe on Wednesday.
The report also welcomes "the financial assistance provided by the federal authorities to the bilingual cantons of Bern/Berne, Fribourg/Freiburg, Graubünden/Grischun/Grigioni and Valais/Wallis for their measures in connection with multilingualism" .
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