What to do in a medical emergency Advice and emergency service numbers

Constrictive chest pains, a fall down the stairs or a deep cut - medical emergencies often happen quickly and unexpectedly. In the flurry of activity that follows, it's important to know what to do.

Hello Switzerland recommendation:

Print the emergency numbers list in this guide, 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.

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 below 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
  • In life-threatening situations notify the emergency services 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.

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.

Emergency service numbers in Switzerland

Here are the essential telehone 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
  • Avalanche Report, Weather Conditions 187
  • Emergency Roadside Service (TCS) 140
  • International Emergency number (SOS 112) 112

Recommended partner: Hirslanden

Hello Switzerland is proud to recommend to its readers the highest quality provider of care and medical treatment in Switzerland – the Hirslanden Private Hospital Group.

You can count on Hirslanden in an emergency

Located all over Switzerland, the Hirslanden Private Hospital Group emergency centres are equipped with the latest diagnostic and therapeutic infrastructure.
Each emergency department has access to a network of highly regarded medical specialists. A treatment team will immediately be assembled to meet the patient's specific needs. Around the clock, 365 days a year.

About Hirslanden

Hirslanden operates 16 hospitals located in 11 Swiss cantons. With a total of 2,100 affiliated doctors and in-house physicians, and around 7,800 employees, it is the leading private hospital group as well as the largest medical network in Switzerland.


Hirslanden emergency centres

Hirslanden's status as a private hospital group is not linked with a requirement for patients to hold private medical insurance. In emergency situations in particular, treatment is provided regardless of insurance status.
For peace of mind and guaranteed highest-quality care in a medical emergency, go to one of Hirslanden's 11 emergency centres across Switzerland:


Klinik Aarau
24-hour emergency centre (incl. heart emergencies)


Klinik Birshof
24-hour orthopaedic emergency centre


Klinik Beau Site
24-hour emergency centre (incl. heart emergencies)

Klinik Permanence
24-hour emergency centre

Salem Spital
24-hour emergency centre


Clinique La Colline
emergency centre (365 days / 07.00 – 23.00)


AndreasKlinik Cham Zug
24-hour emergency centre


Klinik St. Anna
24-hour emergency centre (incl. heart emergencies)

St. Gallen

Klinik Stephanshorn
24-hour emergency centre


Klinik Hirslanden
24-hour emergency centre (incl. heart emergencies)

Klinik im Park
24-hour heart emergency centre (the heart emergency centre is available to all patients with private or semi private insurance)

Author: Mike Tomsett - Hello Switzerland

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