Background A vast and heated debate is arising in Switzerland as a result of some recent citizens' initiatives aimed at introducing compulsory dental health care insurance. The Grand Conseils of the Vaud, Geneva, and Neuchâtel cantons recently approved three public initiatives and their citizens are expected to vote on the proposal in 2018. The process of collecting signatures has begun in several other cantons and the discussion has now moved to a national level. Discussion At present, there is no scientific research that can help policy-makers and citizens to understand the main economic implications of such reform. We attempt to fill this gap by analysing three critical issues: the level and determinants of unmet needs for dental care in Switzerland; the protection of vulnerable individuals; and the economic sustainability of reform. Results and short conclusions The results show that income is not a unique determinant of barriers to access to dental care but rather, cultural and socio-demographic factors impact the perceived level of unmet dental care needs. The reform might only partially, if at all, improve the equity of the current system. In addition, the results show that the 1% wage-based contribution that the reform promoters suggest should finance the insurance is inadequate to provide full and free dental care to Swiss residents, but is merely sufficient to guarantee basic preventive care, whereas this could be provided by dental hygienists for less.

What should we expect from Switzerland’s compulsory dental insurance reform?

di Bella E;Leporatti L;Montefiori M
2018

Abstract

Background A vast and heated debate is arising in Switzerland as a result of some recent citizens' initiatives aimed at introducing compulsory dental health care insurance. The Grand Conseils of the Vaud, Geneva, and Neuchâtel cantons recently approved three public initiatives and their citizens are expected to vote on the proposal in 2018. The process of collecting signatures has begun in several other cantons and the discussion has now moved to a national level. Discussion At present, there is no scientific research that can help policy-makers and citizens to understand the main economic implications of such reform. We attempt to fill this gap by analysing three critical issues: the level and determinants of unmet needs for dental care in Switzerland; the protection of vulnerable individuals; and the economic sustainability of reform. Results and short conclusions The results show that income is not a unique determinant of barriers to access to dental care but rather, cultural and socio-demographic factors impact the perceived level of unmet dental care needs. The reform might only partially, if at all, improve the equity of the current system. In addition, the results show that the 1% wage-based contribution that the reform promoters suggest should finance the insurance is inadequate to provide full and free dental care to Swiss residents, but is merely sufficient to guarantee basic preventive care, whereas this could be provided by dental hygienists for less.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/901001
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