Marks-Sultan, Géraldine, Stefanie Kurt, Didier Leyvraz and Dominique Sprumont

The legal and ethical aspects of the right to health of migrants in Switzerland

The right to health of migrant populations, whether they are foreign nationals, foreign workers, tourists, asylum seekers or refugees, is enshrined in international human rights treaties. The effectiveness of the implementation of this fundamental right thus lies in national legal frameworks. In spite of its long humanitarian tradition, Switzerland has a strict migration policy, and while it has established a non-discriminatory legal framework for the protection and promotion of the right to health, its laws and regulations sometimes codify differences in treatment between foreign nationals and Swiss residents based on distinct situations. On the basis of shared responsibilities between the Federal State and the 26 cantons, this article describes the Swiss legal and regulatory approach to the right to health, the ways it is currently implemented and the possible vectors for an improved integration of migrants into the health system.