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Published on 12.04.2023

How do I find, visit or change doctors in Switzerland?

When you move to Switzerland, seeing a doctor may not be high on your list of priorities. Nevertheless, you should find out about and see a doctor early on so that you are prepared in case of an emergency. This article tells you everything you need to know.

It is a legal requirement to take out health insurance within the first three months of moving to Switzerland to be covered in case of illness or accident. If you miss the registration deadline, you will have to pay a premium penalty and will not be insured retroactively. Therefore, pay attention to the regulations and take out health insurance to protect yourself.

How do I find the right health insurance model in Switzerland?

In Switzerland, there are various health insurance models that should be considered before your visit to the doctor to ensure that your insurance covers the costs in full. These include:

-      Free choice of doctor
-      Telephone model
-      Family doctor model
-      Group practice model

The telephone model is gaining popularity because it involves a preliminary telephone consultation with a specialist before further treatment is discussed. In the family doctor model, you have to choose a specific family doctor before you can use their services. The group practice model is similar to the general practitioner model, but here you will find several doctors who specialise in different areas in one place.

In almost all models, you have the option of free choice of doctor in an emergency, when visiting a gynaecologist or ophthalmologist, and for maternity treatment.

How do I find a family doctor in Switzerland?

Depending on the health insurance model you choose, your insurance company will provide information about available general practitioners with whom they work, thus narrowing down your choices. The homepage of your health insurance company can be helpful in your search and you can also search for specific therapies to find a treating doctor who works together with your insurance company.

In addition, there are online portals where you can find doctors or practices in your area by entering your place of residence. We recommend that you also ask your acquaintances who have lived in Switzerland for some time or use a search engine such as Google to find a suitable doctor.

What is the procedure for registering with a doctor?

Registering with a doctor in Switzerland can be done in several ways. Almost all GP practices can be reached by phone and email, which are probably the most common ways of registering. Another option is to register in person on site. Note, however, that successful registration and admission requires that there is still sufficient free capacity for doctors, which is not always the case due to the shortage of doctors in Switzerland.

If you have newly moved to Switzerland, you should point out to the doctor that you do not yet have a GP, as this will certainly increase your chances of successful registration.

How do I change my family doctor in Switzerland?

If you have found a new GP in Switzerland, either because you have moved house or because your old one no longer suits you, you will need to proceed differently depending on the health insurance model you have chosen. If you have a GP or group practice model in your basic insurance, you should contact your insurance broker or insurance company directly. However, if you have an alternative model or a free choice of doctor, this is not necessary.

What do I need to bear in mind when visiting a doctor in Switzerland for the first time?

At your first visit, you will need to fill in a personal data sheet, which the practice needs to record your details. You will need your health insurance card for this.

If you have any further questions, we will be happy to help you as your insurance broker.

If you are new to Switzerland and need professional support and advice, we are at your disposal. We will explain everything you need to know about living in Switzerland, find the right health insurance for you and accompany you personally and competently.

Please contact us for a personal consultation:

locationLavaterstrasse 67, 8002 Zürich location +41 44 552 72 32 location