Emergencies

Overview

It is important to know who to call in an emergency.

Hello Switzerland tip: photocopy the emergency numbers list in this Step and keep it at a central location in your home.

Be aware that in Switzerland, calling an ambulance can be very expensive and your GP is usually your first point of contact in a medical emergency.

 
 
Checklist
 
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers in a central location in your home
  • Identify your local medical emergency centre of choice

Need to know

  • Be familiar with your local medical emergency centre of choice
     
  • Switzerland does not officially have a single telephone number for all emergency services. However, calling 112 will connect you to a central service where your enquiry will be directed to the appropriate emergency service
     
  • The list in the "Where to find help" section shows the correct numbers to call in an emergency

How to proceed

  • Contact your GP – they will refer you to the appropriate specialist
     
  • Alternatively, find a 24-hour emergency centre
     
  • Notify the emergency services in life-threatening situations by calling 144
     
  • Be aware that calling an ambulance can lead to high costs for the patient - though do not let this hinder you in a critical situation

 

Take any relevant documentation with you to wherever you are going to be treated. This can include:

  • Identification card (any form of official ID)
  • Health insurance card
  • Credit card in case a deposit payment is required
  • List of medications
  • Allergy ID card
  • Blood group ID card
  • Diabetes ID card

Where to find help

Call your GP or the Swiss ambulance service on 144.

Emergency service numbers

Police 117
Fire 118
Ambulance 144
Toxic Poisoning 145
Helicopter Rescue (REGA) 1414
Child/Youth Help 147
Samaritans (Helping Hand) 143
Weather Forecast 162
Road Conditions & Traffic News 163
Avalanche Report, Weather Conditions 187
Emergency Roadside Service (TCS) 140
International Emergency number (SOS)   112

 

How much does it cost

  • Emergency medical care is covered by Swiss medical insurance policies
     
  • Calling an ambulance can lead to costs of CHF 1,000 or more. Basic health insurance will contribute up to half of the ambulance costs if the patient is unable to travel via car or public transport. The exact costs depend on the health and accident insurance policies the patient holds.
     
  • Supplementary insurance policies to fully cover ambulance costs are available
 
 

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