Switzerland - Health

Health standards and medical care are excellent. The pharmaceuticals industry ranks as one of the major producers of specialized pharmaceutical products. Managed-care systems are widely used, especially with a "gatekeeper" component to control costs. In 1998, Switzerland reported that it had 23,679 practicing physicians, of which 56% were in private practice. As of 1999, there were an estimated 3.4 physicians and 18.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people. The ratio of doctors per population varies by region, with the highest proportions in Basle and Geneva and the lowest in Appenzell. As of 1999 total health care expenditure was estimated at 10.4% of GDP.

As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 9.8 and 8.8 per 1,000 people. In the mid-1990s about 71% of married women (ages 15 to 49) were using contraception. The fertility rate was 1.5 children per woman surviving her childbearing years in 2000. The infant mortality rate, which had been 70.3 per 1,000 live births in 1924, was 4 in 2000. As of 1999, the vaccination rates for DPT and measles were, respectively, 94% and 81%. In 2000, life expectancy was averaged at 80 years.

There were about nine cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people reported in 1999. Cardiovascular disease-related deaths numbered nearly 30,000 in the mid-1990s. Tobacco consumption has dramatically decreased from 3.1 kg (6.8 lbs) per year per adult in 1984–86 to 2.4 kg (5.3 lbs) in 1995. In 1996, voters in Zurich approved a government plan to supply heroin addicts with free access to their drug.

As of 1999, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 17,000 and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at 150. HIV prevalence was 0.5 per 100 adults.

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