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Being ill, staying healthy

What should you do if there is an emergency? When do you need to see a doctor? Where can you learn more about pregnancy, and where can you obtain advice anonymously?

You can listen to brief introductory information in your language here:

+ The Swiss health-care system (in 18 languages)
+ Sozialzentrum Rex. Advice on social problems and health
+ emergency (podcast 8 languages)
+ places for medical sevice  (poscast 8 languages)
+ Guide to the Canton of Lucerne in different languages

Frequently asked questions
An emergency is a situation in which help is needed urgently. Most of Lucerne’s hospitals have emergency rooms that are open 24 hours a day. If there is a serious emergency, you should call the emergency service number 144 and be ready to give the following information:
  • your name,
  • where you are calling from (the location),
  • what has happened,
  • how many people are involved / injured,
  • what has been done so far?
The Kantonsspital (Cantonal Hospital) has provided instructions on what to do in an emergency under this link.

Here you can find an overview of the hospitals in Switzerland as well as addresses of institutions specialized in fields such as ophthalmology, obstetrics, lung disorders, or dentistry.

For urgent doctors’ consultations without an appointment, Lucerne also has private medical facilities such as the “Permanance” in the main train station.

If someone near you has an emergency, such as an accident, the most important immediate measure is first aid. A first-aid course must also be completed in order to qualify for a driver’s license in Switzerland.
Further information on first-aid courses in Lucerne can be found on the website of the Cantonal Association of First-aid Clubs (Kantonalverband Luzerner Samaritervereine).

Important emergency telephone numbers:

  • Ambulace 144
  • Police 117
  • Fire Department 118
If poisoning is suspected, for example, from mushrooms or chemicals, the emergency number 145 for the Toxicological Information Center can assist you: you can call at any time 24 hours a day and obtain advice from a doctor free of charge.
+ Further important numbers
Family physicians are general practitioners. They provide the initial treatment when you are ill. The family doctor who sees you regularly knows you, and is best able to give you the advice you need. It is thus in your best interest to always consult the same G.P.

Another advantage of having a family doctor is that you can always call his or her office when you are ill, and it is easier to arrange appointments at short notice if you need them.
There are various ways to find a physician: ask your friends and acquaintances, look in the telephone book (the doctors are listed according to their town or neighborhood as well as specialty), or check the Internet.
You can find doctors in your area on a number of Internet sites. On Arztmap you can find information on the different doctors in the region as well as their availability and how busy they are.

+ Overview of physicians in Switzerland
+ You can also locate physicians on the Website of the Swiss Medical Assciation showing the languages they speak.
In addition to the pediatricians in private practice, Switzerland also offers special services for school children free of charge:
  • The school districts provide the services of a school physician, who examines the children in kindergarten and in the 4th and 8th grades and gives vaccinations. You can obtain further information from your child’s school.
  • School dentist and dental hygiene: school-children’s teeth are examined by a dentist once a year. In addition, the children receive regular practical instruction on dental hygiene from a qualified person in their classroom.
  • School psychology services: You can obtain help here if your child has learning, psychological, or behavioral problems.

After a hospital stay, you may need further care at home; this can be arranged by Spitex. Appropriately trained personnel come to your home to provide nursing care or assist with everyday tasks. A part of the cost of these services is covered by the health insurance.
The need for assistance from Spitex is determined by a physician.

Spitex Stadt Luzern
Brünigstrasse 20, 6005 Luzern
Telephone +41 (0)41 429 30 70, Telefax +41 (0)41 429 30 71
E-Mail: info@spitex-luzern.ch
Web: http://www.spitex-luzern.ch
Difficult situations can arise in everyone’s life involving their family, their personal situation, or their workplace. Psychological illnesses such as depression are very common.
A psychologist or psychiatrist can provide help and support during these life phases.
If you need help, you can also consult your family physician, who can refer you to an appropriate specialist.

Here you can obtain a brochure with addresses of psychotherapists who speak different languages free of charge.
People who are in a crisis situation sometimes need advice right away. Prompt assistance is available from the organization Dargebotene Hand (the outstretched hand), which offers counseling free of charge by telephone, E-mail, or chat. You can call the number 143 by telephone at any time and talk with one of the staff members. The Dargebotene Hand is a contact site that is available to anyone and ensures anonymity.

There is also guidance designed especially for young people on the Internet, at websites such as www.lilli.ch. These offer serious information of interest to young men and women on topics such as relationships, sexuality, contraception, or violence. There are various online forums in which they can exchange thoughts on particular problems, similar to a self-help group. But caution is advised, as not all online forums are serious.
Guidance for young people: Information provided in a serious manner on topics of interest to teenagers and young men and women.

Pro Juventute offers counseling to parents and grandparents as well as to children and young persons free of charge.
Children and young people: Telephone and SMS: 147
Parents and grandparents: +41 (0)58 261 61 61
People can be addicted to a variety of things, including alcohol, cigarettes, medications, illegal drugs, eating, and work.
Addicted persons are often unable to cope with their addiction by themselves. In addiction counseling, they can share the search for new solutions with an expert.

+ Information about addiction 
+ Counseling center (Beratungsstelle) in Lucerne
+ You can also obtain counseling free of charge at the SoBZ (Sozial-BeratungsZentren im Kanton Luzern)
Many of the larger hospitals and counseling centers have their own translating services. Be sure to ask if they don’t automatically offer you a translator.
Misunderstandings often arise due to differing values in different cultures. These may be avoided by the use of intercultural translators. They not only translate the language, but also indicate differing perceptions and meanings that vary from one culture to another.

You can also obtain assistance from the Advisory Office for Counseling and Integration of Foreign Nationals FABIA (Fachstelle für die Beratung und Integration von Ausländerinnen und Ausländern) in Lucerne if you have problems finding a doctor due to language difficulties.
Video: ch.ch - pregnancy and birth

YouTube Video: Please note the terms of use.

The most important contact person during a pregnancy is the obstetrician/gynecologist, who will provide medical examinations at regular intervals.

Hospitals such as the Kantonsspital of Lucerne offer courses in preparation for childbirth, where you can learn important information on childbirth, breast-feeding, and your new duties as parents.

After your delivery, you should have your family booklet (Familienbüchlein) and certificate of residence (Schriftenempfangsschein) ready; the hospital administration will need these documents in order to register the birth with the Department of Civil Status (Zivilstandsamt).

If the child’s parents are not married, the father must acknowledge his paternity, in other words, he must register himself as the father at the Zivilstandsamt.

ch.ch - Information on pregnancy and childbirth 
+ Midwives: You can find the addresses of midwives in your area on the homepage of the Swiss Midwives’ Association.

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