Switzerland is well-known throughout the world for its high quality medical services, spending 10% of its GDP on health. Naturally, the medical field makes use of the most up-to-date technology and, like most things, is run with efficiency, having one of the lowest patient to doctor ratios in the world. And so it is that if we require medical attention here in Lucerne, there are two excellent hospitals serving the residents in our canton.
Towering above the medieval old town, the Lucerne Kantonsspital is a pillar of top-notch medical care. Staffed by 5,500 staff members, who attend to 36,000 inpatients and 140,000 outpatients every year, the aim of the hospital is to provide an outstanding level of medical care that is highly individualised, keeping the patient “at the heart of its operation”.
The Kantonsspital is also an academic teaching hospital working in conjunction with Basel, Bern and Zürich universities to exchange up-to-date knowledge from research and development. It offers all types of medical care, but is particularly renowned for its expertise in ophthalmology (specialising in cataracts), hip and pelvis orthopaedics, gynaecology (including breast cancer treatment and reproductive medicine), ear, nose, throat and facial surgery, neurosurgery (specialising in the removal of spinal tumours), endoscopic brain surgery and neurosurgical operations on children, radiology and nuclear medicine, robotic surgery of the prostate gland, pain therapy and palliative medicine and urology.There is of course an emergency station open all day every day and a heli-pad to fly in patients from the surrounding mountains.
Overlooking the the Alps and Lake Lucerne and with its reputable food service, Klinik St. Anna, may give you the feeling you are staying at a nice hotel.The clinic offers treatment in over 30 medical disciplines, including musculoskeletal medicine, neurology/neurosurgery, oncology, gastroenterology, cardiology/rhythmology, angiology, nephrology (including dialysis), rheumatology/pain therapy, and women’s/reproductive health. The hospital is staffed by 160 specialists and 400 medical staff, catering to some 9000 in-patients and 60 000 outpatients annually. The emergency unit also accepts acutely ill or injured patients 24 hours a day, all year round.
St Anna is a popular place to give birth and around 800 babies are delivered there every year. Both hospitals have excellent birthing facilities, including for water births, but the most notable difference is that at St Anna, we can have our doctor at the delivery, whereas at the Kantonsspital, it is whichever doctor is on duty at the time.
Also useful to know is that there is a walk-in medical centre on the ground floor of the train station. Permanence is open 24 hours a day for accidents, health issues and psychological help. To speak to physicians or for information on pharmacy opening hours you can also call 041 211 14 14.
And remember, all doctors speak a good level of English and may of the other hospital staff as well. Plus, if you need specialised care that is not provided by St Anna or the Kantonsspital or to get extra consultation with experts at other hospitals in the country, even the basic level of insurance provides for this. It is reassuring to know that you will be expertly cared for in the time you need it most.