Federal Council approves revised foreign policy on health

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The Federal Council intends to take action in six key areas of international health policy, including sustainable healthcare, global health governance and protection against global health risks. At its meeting on 15 May, the Federal Council adopted the revised Health Foreign Policy for 2019-2024, which addresses current global challenges and is aligned with the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

The Health Foreign Policy is designed to improve health protection in Switzerland as well as contributing to global health. It also promotes collaboration between the various federal bodies concerned and helps to ensure the consistency of Switzerland’s positions at the international level. The first Health Foreign Policy was adopted by the Federal Council in 2012. In the revised policy, six action areas are defined as priorities for Switzerland for the period 2019-2024: health protection and humanitarian crises, access to therapeutic products, sustainable healthcare and digitalisation, health determinants, global health governance, and addiction policy.

In the area of health protection and humanitarian crises, Switzerland intends, for example, to improve the protection of the Swiss population against global health risks. Within the World Health Organization (WHO), it is therefore seeking to strengthen the international system for early detection, surveillance, prevention and control of infectious diseases. Switzerland will also support efforts to combat growing resistance to conventional antibiotics, and to improve global access to high-quality medicines and other health technologies. In addition, it will seek to ensure that the goal of universal health coverage is also achieved in emergencies worldwide.