Why healthcare is essential for the expanding Swiss economy

Posting date: 13 June 2023

Switzerland is internationally regarded for its high quality of life, strong economy, and thriving pharmaceutical industry.

For the Swiss,
healthcare and the economy are strongly linked. You simply can’t have a strong economy without a reliable healthcare system. That’s why life sciences recruitment has never been more critical. Companies like Swisslinx find the top talent in the market and match these candidates with the right companies.

The link between healthcare and economic success

Healthcare spending is essential to the Swiss economy. According to an article published by The International Trade Administration, it accounted for 11.9% of GDP in 2020. Switzerland spends more per capita on healthcare than any other European country, improving the health of its citizens and bolstering the economy.


The healthcare industry also contributes to the economy as an employer. The same article from The International Trade Administration revealed that the Swiss pharmaceutical industry alone employs 47,500 employees, and the medtech industry employs another 63,000 professionals.

Of course, healthcare plays a much more significant role in society than being a driver for economic growth. Affordable healthcare is vital for a happy and healthy workforce, and Switzerland boasts one of the world’s best healthcare systems for users. It’s been described as the ideal system for other countries to follow, with
90% of users reporting complete satisfaction.


However, it often surprises other Europeans that the Swiss healthcare system is not socialised – it relies heavily on the private sector for its success. Though the country has guaranteed residents comprehensive healthcare coverage since 1994, individuals are required to take out basic healthcare policies from insurance companies. That said, the 26 canton governments heavily subsidise hospitals and keep insurance premiums low.

How Swiss pharma products have helped to grow the nation’s economy

Over the past few decades, Switzerland has seen the pharmaceutical sector skyrocket to become the country’s largest industry. Novartis and Hoffman La Roche are two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, both headquartered in Basel. Other significant players include Cilag GmbH and Celgene International II.

Demand for Swiss pharma products continues to increase, and the industry employs more people every year. In 2000, it accounted for only 2.3% of value-added revenue – this more than doubled by 2020, contributing 4.8% to the national economy.


It’s important to note that nearly all notorious Swiss pharmaceutical firms started in the chemical industrial industry, which continues to drive the country’s economic growth. However, most pharmaceutical divisions have branched off as independent companies in recent decades.


Today, the country’s leading exporter is the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry, which generates around 50% of its exports. Without the pharma industry, Switzerland simply wouldn’t be the economic powerhouse it is today.

Why it’s essential that the healthcare industry is supplied with the top talent

The healthcare industry is vitally important to the Swiss economy and overall business climate. To maintain such a significant industry’s prosperity, attracting the best talent and top research and development scientists is crucial.


With the right people, pharma companies flourish, and ultimately, patients receive better care. That is why the best employers work on encouraging, motivating, and rewarding innovation and introducing new and improved ways of working. After all, the industry’s top talent is in high demand, and competition from other companies is steep.


However, there can be challenges when it comes to matching the right candidate with the right job and the right cultural fit – that is where Swisslinx’s years of expertise come in.


Swisslinx is a healthcare recruitment agency that recruits senior healthcare and life sciences professionals, including product managers, clinical trial managers, and IT project leads. Our teams are experts in their respective markets and their extensive experience ensures that our clients and candidates receive a seamless service delivery. To find out more about what we do, head to our healthcare and life sciences recruitment hub.