Swiss Hepatitis C patients : abandonned by the system

A patient dies because his disease is detected too late. A patient with advanced cirrhosis waited almost a year for treatment. The health insurance companies refuse saving therapies with flimsy or even illegal justifications – the Swiss healthcare system is failing.

Nevertheless, Dr. Koch of the Federal Office of Public Health openly claims in the press and on television that all patients who need treatment get one. The desperate people who contact us again and again, make different experiences.

Ms. Tanja Klein contacted us after the television news program on SFR 1 “10 vor 10” on 24 January. She could not leave unheeded the spread of such lies on the part of the Federal Office of Public Health. Her fate has shaken us. Mr. Klein lost his life in a few months. Diagnosed too late, any help came too late. If a true hepatitis strategy had been implemented, as we have been claiming for years, this sad outcome would have been very likely preventable.

Some health insurance companies do their utmost to avoid having to pay for these life-saving treatments for hepatitis C. A particularly sordid example: A patient has cirrhosis of level F4, and the health insurance company Atupri refuses to pay for the treatment for 10 months. The patient fears for his life, his doctor is fighting windmills. It’s criminal.

While patients are fighting for their lives, they are officially appeased and delayed. The Federal Office responsible does not care about the Health Insurance Act. How many Swiss patients still have to die from hepatitis C, how many still have to suffer and wait for treatment? We demand: This miserable game of cat and mouse on the patient’s back must stop!

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