Hospital in Saanen to close in November 2012
On the 1st of November 2012, the hospital in Saanen will close its doors. From then on, the hospital in Zweisimmen will operate as an emergency center to guarantee health care in the Simmental-Saanenland region.
The Zweisimmen hospital will upgrade to a new computer tomography scanner, as scans are currently carried out only in Saanen. This investment creates the best possible conditions for the health care in the region and is a commitment from the Spital STS AG to Zweisimmen. According to CEO Bruno Guggisberg, the cost for the new scanner will be SFr 330’000.00. STS AG’s goal is to position Zweisimmen hospital in a way which will improve the business results and minimize deficit, so that the emergency center for the region can be financed and maintained.
The range of medical services in the region of Simmental-Saanenland will not decrease with the closing of Saanen hospital. Internal medicine, surgery, orthopedics, gynecology and obstetrics, 24h-emergency, dialysis and medical cross-functions such as anesthetics, laboratory, operating room and radiology will be available in Zweisimmen.
In case of severe cases such as strokes, heart attacks and accidents in the region, a patient would be stabilized locally, states the press release from STS AG. ‘Primary health care in the region is still conducted via a GP’, says Bruno Guggisberg. For further examination, therapies and operations, transport to Thun or Bern will be conducted for local citizens and visitors.
This merge of hospitals will have an impact on 65 employees, for which 50 positions could find a position in Thun, Zweisimmen or at Alterswohnen AG, the institute for elderly residents. A solution is still being sought for the other 15 employees.
It has still not been decided If the hospital in Zweisimmen will operate after 2014 – even if it is undisputed that the region needs a permanent health care facility. It is a question of money and whether the canton is willing to offer financial support. This will be examined by the Spital STS AG together with the Health and Welfare Administration, and is part of the project “Basic Healthcare Obersimmental-Saanenland”. By the end of August, results regarding building up the emergency service are expected.