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The city of Zurich starts a pilot project for those who do not have health insurance

As reported by the city of Zurich, basic medical care for people without health insurance is to be improved in a pilot project in 2023.

The Stadtspital Zurich Waid with the entrance to the emergency center. – Nau.ch / Miriam Danielsson

An estimated 14,000 people who do not have health insurance live in the city of Zurich and have no regular access to basic medical care in the event of illness.

Reasons for a lack of health insurance for undocumented people, who make up the majority of those without health insurance, are insufficient financial resources and fear of being discovered and deported.

In addition to undocumented people, some other people, such as sex workers or homeless people, do not have health insurance.

Those affected often seek medical care too late, which can result in serious health damage and high treatment costs.

Pilot project for people without health insurance

As part of a three-year pilot project, the city of Zurich wants to ensure regulated basic medical care for people who do not have health insurance and who live in the city of Zurich in accordance with the Swiss Health Insurance Act.

On the one hand, this should include access to medical treatment and, on the other hand, an examination of the possibilities of taking out health insurance and the right to individual premium reductions.

Health insurance companies in Switzerland are obliged to insure people regardless of their residence status and are not allowed to pass on personal data to third parties.

Regulated supply model and taking out health insurance

From January 2023, a regulated, multi-stage patient path is planned in a defined network of medical facilities and social counseling centers.

Initial medical consultations should take place in the Kanonengasse outpatient clinic in the city of Zurich, the Meditrina practice of the Swiss Red Cross in the canton of Zurich and, in life-threatening emergencies, in the emergency departments of the Zurich city hospital.

If there is a need for follow-up consultations, standardized advice on obtaining health insurance is carried out.

those affected are difficult to reach

Those without papers who are affected in particular often live very secluded lives.

It is therefore difficult to inform people who do not have health insurance about the specialized medical contact points that undocumented persons can go to without ID.

Experiences and evaluations so far show that only a fraction of the estimated 10,000 undocumented have ever visited the various medical facilities.

Website in 13 languages

In order to better reach the target group, the contact points are now listed in 13 languages ​​on a municipal website; Flyers and social media posts are intended to draw attention to the website.

People and organizations associated with people who do not have health insurance are called upon to draw their attention to the municipal website.

Persons who do not have health insurance should be able to seek medical treatment in good time if necessary.

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