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The health care costs in Switzerland increased from 7.9% to more than 11% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 1992 and 2014. The total costs in 2014 were above 71 billion Swiss Francs. Thus, Switzerland has one of the highest health expenses in Europe. Only the French and the Swedes spend more money on their health care than the Swiss in comparison to the GDP. Therefore, it is not surprising that the financial burden for the population is high even though public authorities make up for about one third of the health care costs (e.g. subventions for insurance rates or financial assistance for hospitals). This problem will no be alleviated within the next couple of years but rather getting worse since the costs of the health care system will further increase. The Federal Statistical Office predicts total health care costs of 16.7% of the GDP for 2030. Another challenge facing the country is a potential shortage of family doctors across rural regions of Switzerland. Mostly elderly people are affected by this phenomenon since they usually need more medical assistance and are often not able to cope with long journeys to their doctor. In order to understand how this problem arose despite continuously increasing health care costs, the focus of this project is to investigate the spatio-temporal distribution of doctors (family doctors and specialists) within the Canton of Zurich. Considering the project's content will allow answering the following research questions:
Percentage of People Aged 65 and Older (1998)
Percentage of People Aged 65 and Older (2014)
Number of Doctors per 1000 Inhabitants (1998)
Number of Doctors per 1000 Inhabitants (2014)
Standardized Change of Elderly People Between 1998 and 2014
Standardized Change of Doctors Between 1998 and 2014
Change of Doctors per 1000 Inhabitants Aging 65 Years and Above Between 1998 and 2014
The Swiss health care system is highly decentralized. The federal authority is only responsible for some minor parts of the complex system (e.g. reproductive health, human gene technology or transplantation medicine) and its legal framework conditions. Key entities exist mainly within the cantons. These authorities are responsible for licensing providers, coordinating hospital services, subsidizing institutions, and promoting health awareness through disease prevention. Intercantonal coordination is not common but can be found in some areas of the health care system. It is on the other hand the community’s duty to coordinate other medical services like home care or school doctors. Thus, the responsibilities change from canton to canton and community to community (a detailed overview can be found in Kocher and Oggier (2007) which is listed in the link section below). This means that results gained within this project cannot be transferred to other cantons even though doctor shortage seems to be a national phenomenon. Cantonal differences of the health care systems as well as mentalities and geographical conditions have to be considered before making nationwide conclusions. Therefore, comparisons between Switzerland and other countries are even more difficult to accomplish. However, the data and maps shown above allow to state the following conclusions at cantonal level:
Swiss Health Care System
Visualizing Spatio-Temporal Content
Matthias has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences / Popular Culture Studies. He is now facing his Masters degree in GIScience. Beyond that, he is working as a taxi driver and as a chaperone for exchange students. In his free time, he enjoys playing badminton and playing the piano.
Raphael has completed a Bachelor of Geopgraphy at University of Zurich. He is interested in programming and fancy algorithms. In his free time, he enjoys paragliding, traveling and spending time with his friends. This summer, he's moving into his first own appartment.