What are communicable and non-communicable diseases

National strategy for the prevention of noncommunicable diseases

Why an NCD Strategy?

Today people in our society live twice as long as they did a hundred years ago. We owe the longer life expectancy to medical, economic and social advances, better hygiene and education, the expansion of social insurance, etc. As a result, our quality of life has improved and our lifestyle and working conditions have changed. The other side of the coin: Non-communicable disease (NCD) is on the rise. Today a quarter of the Swiss population suffers from an NCD such as:

  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • chronic respiratory ailments
  • musculoskeletal diseases (diseases of the musculoskeletal system, e.g. chronic back pain)

NCD not only cause great personal suffering. They also represent a major challenge for our health system. Due to the mostly long phases of the illness, NCD treatments take a long time and require intensive care. The five diseases mentioned above are the most common causes of death in the Swiss population. These five NCDs are responsible for 40 percent of health care costs. All NCD together cause more than CHF 50 billion of health costs, which makes up around 80 percent.

Due to the demographic development, this problem will be exacerbated. We want to break this trend with the NCD strategy.