Healthcare update

Thu, 05. Sep. 2019

The future of the region’s healthcare is to be secured through an integrated health network, with a health campus in Zweisimmen and a health centre in Saanen. Concrete plans will be presented in October.

The initial position remains the same and the D4 model is the preferred choice, with a health campus in Zweisimmen, a health centre in Saanen and the involvement of the emergency services. The health campus includes a 24-hour hospital emergency service, an operating theatre, inpatient beds, medical practices, physiotherapy, ergotherapy, a pharmacy, Spitex services, sheltered accommodation for the elderly, a mother and baby centre (Maternité Alpine) and more. The health centre in Saanen includes a 24-hour point of contact, doctors’ offices, triage and emergency services.

According to project manager, Stefan Stefaniak, there are three major nuts to crack, one of which is the funding. The working group in charge estimates potential investment costs of CHF 67m. According to the hospital operator, STS AG, a CHF 6m annual deficit is to be expected.

Further challenges come in the form of the 30-year planning timescale, with many changes expected between now and then. For example, there is no guarantee of financing the deficit until 2050. Of course, solving the financing also depends on the ownership strategy and whether self-funding takes place for the building, rent is paid, or the help of an investor is enlisted. These are issues awaiting clarification and are being worked on in discussions with the municipalities.

The form of the organising institution has not yet been determined either and this could be an association, cooperative, GmbH, foundation, AG or run by the municipality. Based on information so far, the working group favours an AG.

Initial answers to these questions are expected by October, at which time the project management team will inform the general public about an information event to take place in the Simmental Arena in Zwei-
simmen. From now until the project’s implementation in 2024/25, health care in the region, including hospital services, will continue as before.

Based on AvS/Anita Moser
Translated by Justine Hewson




The Bern Insel group is the leading Swiss university hospital in terms of patient satisfaction with state-of-the-art medicine and perfect management. It operates already six sites in the Canton of Bern. Why not ask them to open and manage a Saanen-Gstaad site? The Saanen-Gstaad region offers very poor healthcare services as budgets show heavy financial deficits that the Commune and Bern are reluctant to cover in spite of large revenues from taxes and the needs for this agricultural and touristic area. The Insel management could be solving this critical issue.

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