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Old 11.02.2019, 21:40
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Re: Psychiatrist practice in Switzerland

I saw a psychiatrist the whole time I was living in Switzerland for anxiety and depression.

Like edot, I went to my GP with a list of meds, and they prescribed me the Swiss equivalent. I told them I needed to be followed by a psychiatrist, and they gave me the number for the outpatient clinic of the local psychiatric hospital. Incidentally, I later found out I could have contacted any psychiatrist / clinic. I eventually got an appointment with a psychiatrist, who I saw for the next 6 years. Frequency varied between once a month and once a week, depending on the severity of my symptoms. She was also a psychotherapist so she handled my therapy and my medication. I also did several courses of CBT as an outpatient in the hospital, and I also went to occupational therapy there. I also had my share of hospitalisations, but that's another story.

My psychiatrist moved to a different outpatient clinic in the area, and I followed her there. Later she moved to a private clinic, and again I followed her. When she eventually moved to a geriatric ward in Geneva, I was taken on by another psychiatrist at the clinic. All very straightforward.

I think every so often my health insurance wrote to my psychiatrist to query if I still needed treatment, and they would write a report. Everything was covered.

I had basic health insurance, with Assura, with a CHF300 deductible (the lowest). With Assura you are supposed to pay for your medication and treatment up front and claim it back, but I was able to arrange something called a 'cession de creance' which was a document allowing my pharmacy and the clinic to claim their costs directly from Assura, so that I wasn't having to pay huge bills. I had a model where I could choose which doctor and specialist I saw.

I hope that is useful. The only thing I would suggest, if you are able, is to maybe take your medication to a pharmacy and find if it is usually prescribed in Switzerland on a long term basis. I didn't have an issue when I moved to Switzerland, but on moving back to the UK I found a medication I had been routinely prescribed in Switzerland was not prescribed long-term in the UK. I had to come off it, which resulted in a bit of a round of 'find the right medication balance to replace the missing medication'. Hopefully that won't happen to you, but it might be worth checking.

All the best!
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