Swiss medical community: coronavirus continues to cause additional workload.

01.11.2021 | Cloé Jans, GFS Bern

On behalf of the FMH, gfs.bern conducted a representative survey of the medical profession. Questions examined included: How has the workload changed during the pandemic?  How do you rate occupational health and safety and quality of care?


The workload has increased further for the medical profession during the pandemic. In acute care, more than a third (37%, +14 ppt) stated that the workload had increased significantly since the last survey and due to the pandemic. On the other hand, occupational health and safety during the pandemic were rated as sufficient by the vast majority. The majority of the respective doctor groups also rated the quality of care during the second and third waves as very/very good.

More documentation work for the medical profession

In 2011, the medical profession was asked for the first time to indicate the amount of time spent on documentation work or keeping the patient dossier. The comparison with the results in 2021 shows that since the beginning of the survey, the time spent by doctors in rehabilitation has increased by 21 minutes, by 24 minutes for psychiatrists and by as much as 36 minutes in acute care.

More influence of health insurance funds and the administration

The influence on treatment decisions is still strongest with the patients and the superior physicians. Since 2016, however, an increased influence of the health insurance funds and the administration has been noticeable in acute somatic medicine and psychiatry. The proportion of “mostly correct” discharge times is decreasing according to the medical profession in acute somatic and psychiatry compared to the last survey.

About the study

On behalf of the FMH, gfs.bern has been carrying out a representative survey of hospital doctors in the acute somatic sector, in rehabilitation and psychiatry as well as of doctors working in outpatient practices since 2011. A total of 1,603 Swiss doctors took part in this year’s survey. Among them, 1,053 acute-somatic hospital doctors, 117 doctors working in psychiatric clinics and 64 doctors working in rehabilitation clinics were surveyed. In addition, there were 369 outpatient doctors. The survey took place from 11 June to 16 July 2021.

You can read more results on the working environment of doctors here (in German).

If you have any questions concerning this post, please contact our expert for background information, insights and the methods and models used.

Cloé Jans

Cloé Jans

Operations Manager and Media Spokeswoman