Group practice in the old hospital in Saanen under consideration

Mon, 04. May. 2020
A group practice is planned in the former Saanen hospital. (Photograph: Archive/Anita Moser)

At its fourth meeting, the board of directors of Gesundheit Simme Saane AG (GSS) decided on the further procedure, discussed the remuneration of weekend services for doctors and the deployment of healthcare professionals (APN).

Stephan Hill, chairman of the board of directors, informed the meeting that an exchange of local GPs in the Saanenland had taken place with a doctor from Berne who is examining the establishment of a medical centre, a group practice in the old Saanen hospital. "The doctors from the region explained that in the first place primary care physicians are in demand to succeed the doctors who will retire in the next few years.

Difficult cooperation
Discussions regarding weekend emergency services with the doctors of the Saanenland are not moivng in the direction of a cooperation with the GPs of the Simmental, according to Hill. However, the goal remains the reduction of the emergency service burden on GPs. "Gesundheit Simme Saane AG considers this a significant aspect  to raise the attractiveness of the region for future family doctors.” The board of directors wants to make progress in this area and is coordinating with the GSI (Health, Social and Integration Directorate), as the canton has created the legal basis to make this possible from 2021.

In order to reduce the burden, Hill had proposed supra-regional cooperation – at least during the off-season. Also, from the summer on, GPs should be compensated for weekend service during the low season. "During high season, this activity is financed to a large extent by the patients who visit a practice or who need to be visited," explained Hill at the time. Hill proposed to forego the appointment of a managing director for the time being and to use part of the CHF 450,000 to finance an interim solution. From 2021, the canton will have the option of making such payments.

In talks with the Fachhochschule Bern the topics Advanced Practitioner Nurse (APN) and Physiotherapist (APP) were discussed. These two professions (nursing experts and physiotherapists) with a master's degree from a Fachhochschule or Hochschule, should further relieve doctors of their workload. They can take over various medical activities such as routine consultations in order to relieve the burden on doctors, of whom we have too few now and will even more so in the future. "A workshop is planned at which doctors who already work with APN and APP will report on their experiences, as well as an APN and the Berner Fachhochschule". When this workshop can take place is still open due to the Corona measures.

What will happen with the hospital?
There are also plans for a workshop on the future of inpatient care, on the future of the hospital in Zweisimmen. "We want to think about the future of hospital care together with Spital STS AG, the canton and representatives of the region," said Hill. This will involve questions such as "What does 'out-patient before in-patient' mean?" and "What will digital developments in the health care system mean for us in 15 to 20 years?” A working group appointed by the board of directors has started work to prepare the necessary documents for the municipal assemblies to be held in the fourth quarter for the longer-term financing of the operation of GSS AG.

"Overall, we are making progress, although we are slowed down in various activities by the coronavirus – like so much in our current times", says Hill.

Based on AvS/Anita Moser



What is needed urgently is an extended ambulance service, with more ambulances not to be all based in Saanenmöser to reduce access time for urgent care. The Insel hospital in Bern is a state of the art hospital that is extraordinary well managed and operates several satellite hospitals. This allows doctors as well as patients allocations depending on demand. Why not ask Insel to take care or the Saanen region that is part of the Bern Canton.

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