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Health & Emergencies in Verbier

Discover the top Verbier Health & Emergencies

About Emergency Services in Switzerland

As Switzerland is a non EU country it has a slightly different healthcare service that is a combination of public, subsidised private and fully private systems. It is renowned throughout Europe for it's high quality medical services. 

How the system works

European visitors should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which enables them to access the state provided healthcare in Switzerland at a reduced cost.

Non EU visitors are not covered in Switzerland unless they are a stateless person or a refugee. Therefore, private health and travel insurance is essential.

If you need an ambulance then you can call 144 free of charge from any phone. Ambulance services will only transport the patient, so any friends or family members would need to make their own way to the hospital. You will need to pay some of the cost of the ambulance yourself, so it is better to only call an ambulance if the patient is not in a fit state to go by car, taxi or bus.

Medicines and other treatments prescribed by a doctor can be obtained from any pharmacy. In Switzerland pharmacies have an out-of-hours service at weekends and at night - you can find out which pharmacy near you is open after hours by dialling 1818. Information is given in German, French, Italian and English.

Paying for treatment

You will not be covered for private treatment with your EHIC, so make sure you are treated by a state-funded healthcare provider. Any costs incurred for private healthcare are non-refundable.

Note: you will pay extra to buy medicines at an out-of-hours pharmacy.

You may be asked to pay your medical bills upfront and then claim a refund using your EHIC. You should always try to apply for your refund before you return home.

For information on reimbursement of costs in Switzerland, download the KVG information leaflets.

Remember to keep all receipts and any paperwork (make copies if necessary) as they might be needed by you or your insurance company to apply for a refund or reimbursement.

You will not be eligible for a refund if you have been treated privately.

Who to call & when

 
  • Emergency number and to call an ambulance: 144
  • Swiss rescue: 1414 
  • Fire department: 118
  • Police: 117

Location: Switzerland

Mountain Rescue in Switzerland

The number 144 is used throughout Switzerland as the principal emergency number. The majority of cantons (areas or districts) run their emergency departments as part of public services, however, the Valais is one of only two cantons where the emergency services control centre is entirely a private organisation.

The Rescue Organisation for the Canton of Valais (OCVS) based in Sierre is in charge 13 sub-regions (including the Verbier area) required to cope with the special topographical conditions and microclimate arising from the fertile agricultural plain of the Rhone Valley bordered by high mountains.

Along with ambulance drivers, paramedics and doctors they also have highly trained rescue experts including: guardians of Alpine huts, climbers, guides, glacier patrol (for mountain conditions), dog handlers (avalanches) and speleologists (underground caving).

How to pay

Rescue and helicopter evacuation can be expensive in Switzerland so it is essential that you have the appropriate insurance. Check with your insurance company that they cover the particular sports you are wanting to do, and that they cover helicopter rescue.

Who to call

144 is the number to call in any emergency situation.

Free to download, my144 is an App for all users of the iPhone. Should you require the emergency services, all you have to do is press the red button which connects you directly to the 144 emergency services. At the same time it transmits your present GPS coordinates, enabling the emergency personnel to pinpoint your exact location.

How the system works

The number 144 is used throughout Switzerland as the principal emergency number. The majority of cantons (areas or districts) run their emergency departments as part of public services, however, the Valais is one of only two cantons where the emergency services control centre is entirely a private organisation.

The Rescue Organisation for the Canton of Valais (OCVS) based in Sierre is in charge 13 sub-regions (including the Verbier area) required to cope with the special topographical conditions and microclimate arising from the fertile agricultural plain of the Rhone Valley bordered by high mountains. 

Along with ambulance drivers, paramedics and doctors they also have highly trained rescue experts including: guardians of Alpine huts, climbers, guides, glacier patrol (for mountain conditions), dog handlers (avalanches) and speleologists (underground caving).

Paying for treatment

Rescue and helicopter evacuation can be expensive in Switzerland so it is essential that you have the appropriate insurance. Check with your insurance company that they cover the particular sports you are wanting to do, and that they cover helicopter rescue.

 

Who to call & when

144 is the number to call in any emergency situation.

Free to download, my144 is an App for all users of the iPhone. Should you require the emergency services, all you have to do is press the red button which connects you directly to the 144 emergency services. At the same time it transmits your present GPS coordinates, enabling the emergency personnel to pinpoint your exact location.

Location: Switzerland

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