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Old 09.09.2015, 14:34
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Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

I am being told there aren't ambulances such as in France and this I think can't be true?!? Is it like the US system where some cities have one and some dont? Do people really have to drive themselves in an emergency? I think I am being given some out of date information

Thanks in advance
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Old 09.09.2015, 14:42
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

You have an emergency.
You grab a phone.
You dial 144 if you need to be picked up by ambulance or need an emergency doc to come to your home and 1414 if you need to be picked up by helicopter.
You state where who has what kind of a health issue.
Ambulance, helicopter or in not so severe cases emergency doc in regular car comes over and you get taken care of.
Bill arrives from health insurance.
You pay your share.
For ambulance and helicopter costs, if you have only basic health insurance, insurance pays half (CHF 5k max per year). If you have supplemental insurance on top, insurance might pay more.
For helicopter costs (www.rega.ch) you pay nothing if you are a member (CHF 30 for single people, 40 for single-parent families, CHF 70 IIRC for families with 2 parents).

TLDR: You get taken care of in case of emergency in CH. If you live out in the sticks or high up on the mountain, it can be very useful to get REGA membership. Even if you live in the city, sometimes help has to be super duper fast and helicopter is the safest option.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 09.09.2015 at 15:13.
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Old 09.09.2015, 14:46
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

This is a list of emergency numbers in Switzerland...

http://geneva.angloinfo.com/informat...gency-numbers/
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Old 09.09.2015, 14:49
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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This is a list of emergency numbers in Switzerland...

http://geneva.angloinfo.com/informat...gency-numbers/

yes I saw, but I was confused why someone who lived there so many years was talking about driving to the hospital yourself
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Old 09.09.2015, 15:05
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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yes I saw, but I was confused why someone who lived there so many years was talking about driving to the hospital yourself
Generally speaking people would drive to hospital or call a taxi if they were able to as the cost of an ambulance can be quite high depending on what insurance cover you have.
In real emergency the ambulance comes very quickly and they are very nice and efficient. To be honest if I was in a situation that warranted calling an ambulance I really wouldn't care about the cost.

When our son broke his leg badly in a ski accident he was brought from Leysins back to Neuchâtel by ambulance ( our choice) which was more than an hour long journey and it cost 1200chf ( reimbursed by accident insurance).
Average cost for an ambulance call out is between 500 and 800 chf.
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Old 09.09.2015, 15:06
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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For helicopter costs (www.rega.ch) you pay nothing if you are a member (CHF 30 for single people, 40 for single-parent families, CHF 70 IIRC for families with 2 parents).

TLDR: You get taken care of in case of emergency in CH. If you live out in the sticks or high up on the mountain, it can be very useful to get REGA membership. Even if you live in the city, sometimes help has to be super duper fast and helicopter is the safest option.
Just to clarify, REGA don't charge you even if you're not a member.
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Old 09.09.2015, 15:10
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

Hmmm my quote function doesn't like me today.
Is there special insurance so you dont have to worry? I have a heart issue that is flaring up, so I dont want to be like it was in the USA where you are paranoid to ring because it's $15,000 a pop

I was told they just dont have the services compared to France which I found very very odd, why I am asking

Belgianmum: I hope his leg was OK! I never have been skiing but the kids are bugging me so maybe this is the year
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Old 09.09.2015, 15:14
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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yes I saw, but I was confused why someone who lived there so many years was talking about driving to the hospital yourself
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Bill arrives from health insurance.
You pay your share.
For ambulance and helicopter costs, if you have only basic health insurance, insurance pays half (CHF 5k max per year).
One ride in the white car with the blue lights is about CHF 1000 - 2000.


Additionally, if they think the ambulance was not needed (non life threatening condition) they pay zero!
http://www.beobachter.ch/geld-sicher...ansportkosten/

Cost example:
http://www.ambulanz-sense.ch/wp-cont...arifsuisse.pdf
CHF 350 + CHF 3.80 per km + CHF 70 per15 minutes.
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Old 09.09.2015, 15:18
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

Still can't quote! I think maybe there is confusion, is that some type of different service vs an ambulance with flashy lights and lots of stuff in the back and drugs? Isn't that the people who take home elderly from surgery you are mentioning?
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Old 09.09.2015, 15:26
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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Just to clarify, REGA don't charge you even if you're not a member.
That's not true unfortunately.

Nichtgönner müssen die Rechnung selbst bezahlen./Non-members have to foot the bill themselves.
Source




From the KLV (what does basic insurance cover? German only):

Art. 26 Beitrag an die Transportkosten

1 Die Versicherung übernimmt 50 Prozent der Kosten von medizinisch indizierten Krankentransporten zu einem zugelassenen, für die Behandlung geeigneten und im Wahlrecht des Versicherten stehenden Leistungserbringer, wenn der Gesundheitszustand des Patienten oder der Patientin den Transport in einem anderen öffentlichen oder privaten Transportmittel nicht zulässt. Maximal wird pro Kalenderjahr ein Betrag von 500 Franken übernommen.
2 Der Transport hat in einem den medizinischen Anforderungen des Falles entsprechenden Transportmittel zu erfolgen.

Art. 27 Beitrag an die Rettungskosten


Die Versicherung übernimmt für Rettungen in der Schweiz 50 Prozent der Rettungskosten. Maximal wird pro Kalenderjahr ein Betrag von 5000 Franken übernommen.

So, for medical transport basic insurance pays CHF 500 max per year, for rescue missions CHF 5k max per year.




Text from REGA:
What benefits do I enjoy as a Rega patron?
As a token of appreciation for this support, Rega can, at its own discretion and within the bounds of its resources, waive the costs for the services for patrons, wholly or in part. This includes both rescue services that Rega provides itself and any services of other providers which it organises. Such services can only be provided at reduced or no cost, however, if health insurers and other insurance companies or other liable third parties do not or only partially cover the costs of the rescue mission.

Rega can cover rescues of their members, and only if no (health) insurance is deemed liable for coverage of said rescue payment.


"Gemäss den Gönnerbestimmungen kann die Rega alle von ihr selbst erbrachten Rettungsleistungen übernehmen, falls diese von keiner Versicherung oder von keiner Krankenkasse übernommen werden."

ktipp source

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One ride in the white car with the blue lights is about CHF 1000 - 2000.


Additionally, if they think the ambulance was not needed (non life threatening condition) they pay zero!
http://www.beobachter.ch/geld-sicher...ansportkosten/

Cost example:
http://www.ambulanz-sense.ch/wp-cont...arifsuisse.pdf
CHF 350 + CHF 3.80 per km + CHF 70 per15 minutes.

Of course, if the reason for the ride wasn't life threatening, they won't pay. That's why it is very important to be as precise as possible when contacting emergency services (144) and describing one's ailment so that services can evaluate if an ambulance is necessary or not.
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Old 09.09.2015, 15:34
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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Text from REGA:
What benefits do I enjoy as a Rega patron?
As a token of appreciation for this support, Rega can, at its own discretion and within the bounds of its resources, waive the costs for the services for patrons, wholly or in part. This includes both rescue services that Rega provides itself and any services of other providers which it organises. Such services can only be provided at reduced or no cost, however, if health insurers and other insurance companies or other liable third parties do not or only partially cover the costs of the rescue mission.

Rega can cover rescues of their members, and only if no (health) insurance is deemed liable for coverage of said rescue payment.


"Gemäss den Gönnerbestimmungen kann die Rega alle von ihr selbst erbrachten Rettungsleistungen übernehmen, falls diese von keiner Versicherung oder von keiner Krankenkasse übernommen werden."

ktipp source

So if health insurance covers some of the cost, the rest is up to the rescued, regardless of being a member or not. Also REGA waives cost "at its own discretion, so you're still not covered 100% but rather depending on the REGA;s whims... Still 30 CHF seems like a pretty cheap mitigation from the people's part.
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Old 09.09.2015, 15:38
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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That's not true unfortunately.
Thanks for your explanations. I guess I was getting at the fact that as everyone has health and accident insurance any costs would not normally be born by the individual, and that even for members the costs would normally be reclaimed through your insurance. Seems that membership might prove beneficial only if it were for something not covered by your insurance.

The one time I was REGA-helicoptered from an accident (which was actually in France) I never saw or heard anything from them - they clearly must have just billed SUVA directly.
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Old 09.09.2015, 16:05
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

If you travel consider that REGA also has a jet, when you're stuck in a 3rd world hospital needing complicated surgery being able to fly back to switzerland for the operation is nice, I guess being a member helps in some way (discounts?), worst case scenario you're helping other members that need REGA rescue.

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So if health insurance covers some of the cost, the rest is up to the rescued, regardless of being a member or not. Also REGA waives cost "at its own discretion, so you're still not covered 100% but rather depending on the REGA;s whims... Still 30 CHF seems like a pretty cheap mitigation from the people's part.
I think that depends on how many people pay membership and how many people need rescue, for 30 chf it's good enough for me.
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Old 09.09.2015, 16:08
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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Seems that membership might prove beneficial only if it were for something not covered by your insurance.
swiss people like being over-insured
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Old 09.09.2015, 16:12
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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swiss people like being over-insured

But normal ambulances are an issue? LOL I'm still confused
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Old 09.09.2015, 16:17
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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Generally speaking people would drive to hospital or call a taxi if they were able to as the cost of an ambulance can be quite high depending on what insurance cover you have.
In real emergency the ambulance comes very quickly and they are very nice and efficient. To be honest if I was in a situation that warranted calling an ambulance I really wouldn't care about the cost.

When our son broke his leg badly in a ski accident he was brought from Leysins back to Neuchâtel by ambulance ( our choice) which was more than an hour long journey and it cost 1200chf ( reimbursed by accident insurance).
Average cost for an ambulance call out is between 500 and 800 chf.
Since this was an accident, accident insurance (or health insurance covering accidents if your son wasn't employed/registered as unemployed at the time of accident) paid out in full (excluding normal deductible and retention fee), is that correct? Or did they only pay part of the cost?
Leg fracture can hardly be classified as an illness (non-accident) IMO.


Art. 13 Reise-, Transport- und Rettungskosten (Swiss accident insurance law)

1 Die notwendigen Reise-, Transport- und Rettungskosten werden vergütet.
2 Der Bundesrat kann die Vergütung für Kosten im Ausland begrenzen.
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Old 09.09.2015, 16:31
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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Since this was an accident, accident insurance (or health insurance covering accidents if your son wasn't employed/registered as unemployed at the time of accident) paid out in full (excluding normal deductible and retention fee), is that correct? Or did they only pay part of the cost?
Leg fracture can hardly be classified as an illness (non-accident) IMO.


Art. 13 Reise-, Transport- und Rettungskosten (Swiss accident insurance law)

1 Die notwendigen Reise-, Transport- und Rettungskosten werden vergütet.
2 Der Bundesrat kann die Vergütung für Kosten im Ausland begrenzen.
Yes that is correct. As I said in my post the full cost if the ambulance was reimbursed by the accident insurance ( minus the 10% zero deductible) he has as part of his health insurance.
Had it not been an accident we would have been reimbursed less although in that case we would probably have driven down to Sion to collect him ourselves.

I was quite surprised at how low the cost of the ambulance was considering the length of the journey. Based on the horror stories about ambulance costs I'd read on here I was expecting it to be more than 1200chf. The sledge rescue down the mountain was 250chf which was also reimbursed by accident insurance.

It took a while and quite a bit of physio BLP but he's fine now thanks (aside from having one leg which is much hairier than the other.).
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Old 10.09.2015, 08:49
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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Hmmm my quote function doesn't like me today.
Is there special insurance so you dont have to worry? I have a heart issue that is flaring up, so I dont want to be like it was in the USA where you are paranoid to ring because it's $15,000 a pop

I was told they just dont have the services compared to France which I found very very odd, why I am asking

Belgianmum: I hope his leg was OK! I never have been skiing but the kids are bugging me so maybe this is the year
I certainly hope your heart issue is not serious, but it seems to me that even 15 large to ride in white car is a whole lot better than a free ride in a black one.
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Old 10.09.2015, 09:39
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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yes I saw, but I was confused why someone who lived there so many years was talking about driving to the hospital yourself

If you CAN you are encouraged to go to Hospital by car or public transport or bicycle
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Old 10.09.2015, 09:42
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Re: Can someone explian the swiss emergency medical services?

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Still can't quote! I think maybe there is confusion, is that some type of different service vs an ambulance with flashy lights and lots of stuff in the back and drugs? Isn't that the people who take home elderly from surgery you are mentioning?

First part YES, but the Transport back home after Hospital is a private affair (taxi, public transport, etc)


I, when in need of cancer surgery back in 1988 went to Hospital and 10 days later back home by TRAM and as I have to go to Hospital once per month use S-Bahn and tram for the purpose
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