Where and whom to consult?

The swiss health system

The quality of care in Switzerland and in the canton of Vaud is widely recognised. Numerous hospital structures, as well as doctors are at your disposal in the event of a health problem.

Within 3 months of your arrival, you must take out health insurance. This mandatory procedure is important because medical services are expensive in Switzerland. With your insurance card, you can go to the doctor or the hospital and the medical costs will be covered in part by your health insurance. It is also possible to take out non-compulsory health insurance called “Complémentaire” which covers additional costs.  

Health insurance

Certain specialised therapeutic consultations (physiotherapy, occupational therapy, natural medicine) require a prescription from your GP to be reimbursed by compulsory health insurance. In the event of hospitalisation or doubt about the services covered, it is best to check with your health insurance first.

Finding a doctor

In Switzerland, citizens generally have a “family doctor”. It is a generalist who can then refer you to a specialist, depending on the needs. To find a doctor or a paediatrician for your child, you can contact the Société vaudoise de médecine (SVM). You can also consult the website of the Fédération Suisse des Médecins FMH.

More information

Société vaudoise de médecine (SVM)
Chemin de Mornex 38
Case postale 7443 | 1002 Lausanne
021 651 05 05

You can consult the following website which specifies the language spoken by the doctors.

More information


Your family doctor may be imposed according to the insurance contracted or must be chosen from a list of doctors imposed by the insurer. The chosen family doctor is then responsible for the medical follow-up of the insured persons who have opted for him or her. He or she can then refer you to a specialist, depending on your needs. You may also have to go through the general practitioner if you want to be reimbursed by the insurance.

What to do in case of a health problem?

1. Contact your doctor

As soon as you have a family doctor, he or she will be the person to contact in the event of illness, moderately serious accident or psychological distress. You can also consult your pharmacist. You will talk to the person who knows you best and who can assess your health situation and organise your care.

2. Contact the call centre

If you do not have a doctor or he or she does not answer, the call centre for on-call doctors answers 24 hours a day on 0848 133 133 (local rate). This number is valid throughout the canton of Vaud. The call centre is staffed by health professionals (nurses) specially trained to respond to calls. One of them will assess your situation, advise you and direct you to the most suitable structure. In addition, these professionals will be able to answer you in several languages.

3. Contact the Centre médico-social

If you cannot leave your home, the Centre médico-social (CMS) offers nursing care, home meal delivery and assistance with care, in all regions of the canton.

Association vaudoise d’aide et de soins à domicile (AVASAD)
Avenue de Chavannes 37
1014 Lausanne
021 623 36 36

4. Contact the emergency services

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, the number to dial is 144 (ambulance). 144 is reserved for life-threatening emergencies. It should only be called if your life or that of others is in danger and requires immediate medical and health intervention. If it is an emergency, but you are able to move around, you will have to go to the hospital closest to your home.

Note that emergency services have an obligation to treat all people in life-threatening emergencies regardless of their income or health insurance affiliation.


If you need to be accompanied to the doctor, dentist, hospital or Centre medico-social, you can call on the transport service of the Vaud Red Cross. Volunteers make their private vehicle available and can be called upon every working day. Fares include an amount for pick-up and then are calculated based on the distance travelled.

More information


Patient’s rights

For advice on health-related procedures or in the event of a conflict with a therapist or an insurer.

Organisation suisse des patients (OSP)
CHUV | Chemin de Mont-Paisible 18
1011 Lausanne
021 314 73 88

A brochure presenting “the essentials of patients’ rights” is available with a summary in several languages, see the page below.

More information


National Competence Centre in the field of addictions

Addiction problems with substance (tobacco, alcohol, medication or drugs) or without (hyperconnectivity, gambling and eating disorders) can affect all populations in Switzerland. The Swiss addiction portal offers help for people and families suffering from any addiction-related problem.

Health promotion


Unisanté, the centre for general medicine and public health in Lausanne, provides, among other things, advice on promotion and prevention concerning the health of the inhabitants of the canton of Vaud. This information is available on the institution’s website and relates in particular to diet, physical activity, smoking and sexual health. Screening for cardiovascular diseases, breast and colon cancers are also offered.

Emergency numbers




Tox Info Suisse –
Swiss Center for Poisoning Information
145 ou 044 251 51 51

Pro Juventute –
Telephone line helping children and young people

On-call doctors
0848 133 133 (tarif local)

Help line
La Main Tendue –
24/7 telephone
line for people who need help and support
143 (0.20 fr. par appel)

Domestic violence
Centre d’accueil MalleyPrairie
24/7 specialist advice on
domestic violence
021 620 76 76

Air rescue

Parenthood and birth

Before the birth

Throughout a pregnancy, a gynaecologist and/or a midwife provide follow-up and pregnancy consultations. The related costs are covered by health insurance. To find one, you can contact the Vaud medical society or the group of independent Vaud midwives.

Hotline with independent Vaud midwives (10 a.m.-6 p.m.- 24/7)021 213 79 05
Independent midwives
Other professionals are also at your disposal to inform and advise you before and after the birth.
Fondation PROFA
The maternity wards of Vaud hospitals and the PROFA foundation offer mothers and fathers confidential and free consultations with a sexual health counsellor, a midwife or a social worker in the various regional centres of the PROFA foundation. To find the centre closest to your home, you can reach them by telephone or consult their website: 021 631 01 50
Association PanMilar
The PanMilar association offers birth preparation courses in several languages thanks to the presence of community interpreters. Their website is translated into more than 30 languages.
077 410 20 24
Association Appartenances
The Appartenances association offers French courses around the themes “Pregnancy, Birth and Infancy”.
Espace Femmes Vevey
Rue des Communaux 2A
1800 Vevey
021 922 45 23
Espace Femmes Lausanne
Rue des Terreaux 10, 4e étage
1003 Lausanne
021 351 28 80

After the birth

For mother and baby care, independent Vaud midwives support and coach you throughout your pregnancy and consult at home as soon as you return from the maternity ward. Early childhood nurses from AVASAD and the Prevention Space then take over and offer advice and information during home consultations, postnatal meetings or various workshops/group courses.

If you wish to benefit from personalised support from a midwife throughout your pregnancy, or even after the birth of your child, you can find and contact a midwife near you.
More information

Early childhood nurses

If you wish to benefit from a home visit from an AVASAD early childhood nurse after the birth of your child, simply contact them according to the region in which you are located.

East Vaud
021 925 09 80
La Côte
021 804 66 40
Lausanne and its region
021 641 08 10
North Vaud-Broye
024 420 31 15
Espace prévention
Regional skills centre working in the fields of health promotion and prevention, particularly in the field of early childhood.
PanMilar offers migrant families support at home after the birth by providing families with a midwife and an interpreter. As soon as they return home, women who have already taken part in birth preparation classes will be able to benefit from individualised follow-up in their own language in order to support them during this particular period of transition.
077 410 20 24
Meetings for fathers and future fathers
The association maenner.ch with its MenCare Suisse romande programme offers meetings for future fathers and new fathers – with young child(ren) – which allow the exchange of information and experiences related to arrival of the child, his role as father and co-parent (work-life balance, etc.).
Route de Pierrefleur 63
1958 Uvrier
078 874 46 08


Fondation Profa
For consultation and advice on sexuality, contraception, termination of pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and STI (sexually transmitted infections) tests and homosexuality, the PROFA Foundation’s sexual health consultation is at your disposal. Counsellors and doctors welcome you by appointment in the eight regional centres of the canton. This service is commonly referred to as family planning.
021 631 01 42

Association Appartenances – CPM

The Appartenances association offers specialised psychotherapeutic and psychiatric help to people with psychological suffering related to migration and/or a history of war, torture or another form of collective violence. These psychotherapeutic consultations for migrants are available in several languages.

Rue des Terreaux 10
1003 Lausanne
021 341 12 50


CHUV Violence Medicine Unit
For anyone who has suffered a direct attack on their bodily, sexual or psychological integrity, the Violence Medicine Unit (UMV of the CHUV) offers a medico-legal consultation and referral to specialised services.

Practical information
For the problems of couples, information and specialised hotlines exist.
More information
Help and advices for couples
0840 860 860

Domestic violence

Domestic violence refers to all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur within the couple or the home. It is prohibited by law. The perpetrator of violence can be evicted from the common home by the police and compelled to follow a socio-educational interview. Support services offer advice, reception and secure accommodation for victims as well as consultations and programmes for perpetrators wishing to seek help.

Consultations for victims of violence

Violence medicine units
CHUV Accueil des Urgences

Rue du Bugnon 44
1011 Lausanne
021 314 00 60
chuv.ch > UMV
3e étage, 200 m de la gare

Avenue Reverdil 8
1260 Nyon
021 314 08 51
Centre hospitalier de Rennaz
HRC Vaud-Valais, Accueil du bâtiment principal

Route du Vieux-Séquoia 20
1847 Rennaz
058 773 64 77
Hôpital d’Yverdon-les-Bains
Accueil du bâtiment principal

Rue d’Entremonts 11
1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
024 424 42 20
Fondation Profa / Centres LAVI
Rue du Grand-Pont 2 bis
1003 Lausanne
021 631 03 00
Rue du Molage 36
1860 Aigle
021 631 03 04
Rue de la Plaine 2
1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
021 631 03 08
Website with information translated into twelve languages, an email response service for victims of domestic violence, including forced marriages.
Centre d’accueil MalleyPrairie
24/7 hotline for victims of domestic violence, including forced marriages, emergency accommodation, outpatient consultation.
Chemin de la Prairie 34
1007 Lausanne
021 620 76 76
Centre Prévention de l’Ale
Pour les auteur·e·s de violence souhaitant se faire aider.
Rue de l’Ale 30
1003 Lausanne
021 321 24 00
Bureau de l’égalité (BEFH)
Conseils et orientation
021 316 61 24

Domestic violence and residence permit

The victims of domestic violence may fear that they could lose their right of residence in Switzerland if they report such violence or separate from the perpetrator of it. For support and advice on your migration situation
you can contact the Centre Protestant Social (CSP), even if you do not have a valid residence permit.

CSP Vaud, La Fraternité,
Social Service for Immigrants
021 560 60 98

You are concerned by forced marriage

Free consultation for people in a situation of forced marriage or facing pressure from those around them to start or end a relationship, advice to professionals who take care of these people.

Bureau cantonal pour l’intégration des étrangers et la prévention du racisme (BCI)
Rue du Valentin 10 | Changement d’adresse prévu en 2023.
021 316 49 59