We discovered that our son was epileptic when he was not yet two years old. The certainty came with the diagnosis on 11 August 2015. Thanks to medication, he leads a normal life and his epilepsy has never caused convulsions.
We are currently in Geneva. We arrived here last Saturday and will return home in the middle of next week. My son is in hospital for ten days of observation and tests. This is to try to better understand his epilepsy. Ten days of hospital stay and several expensive examinations and we don’t have to pay anything.
The Swiss health system is based on compulsory health insurance. If you have difficulty paying for insurance, your canton will help you: there cannot be uninsured people. These insurances are highly regulated private entities, for example, they are obliged to accept any individual. In addition, each basic insurance guarantees the exact same cover for everyone, regardless the insurance company. However, each insurance company can propose different models and set the premium. The tariff system then is really complicated and you realise that the free market here has little to do with it when they tell you that the more medical practices open, the more healthcare costs increase.
The Swiss health system is not perfect. It is a mixed public-private system and sometimes seems to take the flaws of both. However, every day I am grateful to live in this this rich part of the world that gives the opportunity to have a child stay ten days in hospital for tests, and every day I also think of the privilege of my wife and I that with our jobs we can relocate for ten days. The privilege of being part of the rich and free part of the world is something I think about a lot lately. We can discuss the pros and cons of a public, private or, in the typically Swiss case of compromise, mixed health system. The important thing in my opinion is to keep in mind that we are extremely lucky to live here.