The head of the FDHA is Alain Berset. He has been a member of the Federal Council since 2012.
A well-functioning health system
Switzerland has a well-functioning, high quality health system. However, this system faces many challenges: rising costs due to advances in medicine and the ageing population, a growing number of patients suffering from chronic illnesses, and a lack of transparency. The government will work to improve the quality of the health system and to keep costs at a manageable level, with people’s wellbeing at the centre of the equation.
«Old-age pensions: Reform is needed to maintain pension levels.»
Reform of the pension system
As people live longer and the baby-boomers (the generation born in the 1950s and 1960s) reach retirement age, the state pension system is beginning to creak at the seams. There is no longer a balance between the contributions being paid in and the amount being drawn. Reform is urgently needed to guarantee the long-term funding of the system and preserve current pension levels. New proposals are currently being drawn up.
Enabling cultural participation
Culture and cultural activities are also facing major upheavals brought about by globalisation, digitalisation and greater individualisation in society. In this context, cultural policy aims to encourage participation in cultural activities, strengthen social cohesion in our linguistically and culturally diverse society and foster creativity and innovation.
Federal Department of Home AffairsFDHA
The FDHA is at the heart of everyday life in Switzerland. The FDHA is responsible for old age and survivors’ insurance and the second pillar of the social insurance system, health, accident and invalidity insurance, drug and food safety, and animal health. Cultural affairs, family policy, equal opportunities for men and women and for people with disabilities, the fight against racism, statistics and even weather forecasting are further areas that fall under the FDHA’s remit.
|Staff (full-time positions) 2018
General Secretariat GS-FDHA
As the hub between the head of department and the federal offices, the General Secretariat carries out planning, coordination, advisory and control functions. The Federal Supervisory Board for Foundations, the secretariat of the Federal Commission against Racism, the Service for Combating Racism and the Bureau for the Equality of People with Disabilities are also part of the General Secretariat.
Federal Office for Gender Equality FOGE
The FOGE is responsible for ensuring both de jure and de facto gender equality in Switzerland. It is particularly active in the areas of equal pay, work-life balance, and in the prevention of and preventing and combating violence against women and fight against domestic violence. The FOGE provides funding towards for projects that promote gender equality. The secretariat of the Federal Commission for Women’s Issues is affiliated to this office.
Federal Office of Culture FOC
The FOC formulates the federal government’s cultural policy. It supports artistic activities and cultural organisations, ensures the preservation of Switzerland’s cultural heritage, historic property, monuments and archaeological sites, and promotes Switzerland’s different linguistic and cultural communities. The FOC is the contact point for enquiries regarding looted art and the transfer of cultural property, and it manages a number of museums as well as the Confederation’s art collection. The Swiss National Library, which includes the Swiss Literature Archive, the Swiss National Sound Archives in Lugano and the Dürrenmatt Centre in Neuchâtel, is also part of the FOC.
Swiss Federal Archives SFA
The SFA stores documents belonging to the Confederation and makes them available to readers. The Archive contains original historical documents such as the Federal Constitution, all editions of the newsreel Filmwochenschau, and the minutes of Federal Council meetings. Documents can be consulted online or in the SFA reading room.
Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss
As the national weather and climate service, MeteoSwiss is responsible for providing weather and climate information. Surface observation systems, weather radars, satellites, radio sounding and other instruments monitor the weather. MeteoSwiss warns the authorities and the public about approaching severe weather conditions and supplies basic data about climate change.
Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
The FOPH and the cantons are jointly responsible for public health and for developing a national health policy. This includes the upkeep and development of social health and accident insurance and its supervision. The FOPH carries out prevention campaigns and runs programmes to promote healthy living. It works on behalf of the Federal Council and with partners to implement the ’Health 2030’ strategy in order to adapt the Swiss healthcare system optimally to future challenges.
Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office FSVO
The FSVO is responsible for food safety, nutrition, animal health and animal welfare, and supports the cantons in implementing related regulations. It supervises imports of animals and animal products, and acts as the enforcement authority for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The FSVO also has the task of ensuring that foodstuffs and utility articles are accurately labelled and do not pose a health risk to the public. The Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) is affiliated to the FSVO.
Federal Statistical Office FSO
The FSO is the federal office responsible for public statistics. It compiles statistical information on the current position and trends in demographics, the economy, society, education, research, land use and the environment. The information helps to shape public opinion and is used as an instrument for planning and control in key policy areas.
Federal Social Insurance Office FSIO
The FSIO ensures the smooth functioning of the social security system, constantly adapting it to the new challenges which arise. It is responsible for old-age and survivors’ insurance (OASI), invalidity insurance, supplementary benefits, occupational benefits (pension funds), loss of earnings compensation for military and civilian service personnel, maternity payments and family allowances. It is also responsible at federal level for family, children’s, youth and old age issues, generational relations and general socio-political issues.
Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products Swissmedic
Swissmedic is the national authorisation and supervisory authority for drugs and medical products. The agency ensures that only high-quality, safe and effective pharmaceutical and medical products are available in Switzerland, thus making an important contribution to the protection of human and animal health.
Swiss National Museum SNM
The Swiss National Museum in Zurich is the most popular museum of historical culture in Switzerland. Along with the Château de Prangins and the Forum Schweizer Geschichte Schwyz, it is part of the Swiss National Museum (SNM). The Collection Centre in Affoltern am Albis completes the group of museums; here the largest collection of cultural objects in the country is researched, conserved and stored.
Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
Pro Helvetia supports artistic creativity in Switzerland, promotes Swiss art and culture in Switzerland and abroad, encourages international exchange between cultures and promotes artists and their art. As an autonomous public foundation, it supports the cultural promotion activities of the cantons and communes.