Sex and Gender in Medicine become a topic in Swiss politics

The Federal Council must draw up a report on the possible discrimination of women in health care. On Thursday 18 June 2020 the National Council approved a postulate to this effect by Laurence Fehlmann Rielle (SP/GE) with 113 to 69 votes.

Fehlmann criticised that the suffering of women was often not taken seriously. Moreover, research projects and clinical trials were all too often conducted exclusively with men. This leads to recommendations that do not meet the needs of women and to the prescription of drugs that are unsuitable for certain women. In medicine, the man is still considered a prototype.

Even before the postulate was dealt with in the National Council, the Federal Council had already agreed to present a report on the extent to which women were disadvantaged in medical research, prevention and care. It is undeniable that there are inequalities between women and men in this area, said Federal Councillor Alain Berset. These are attributable to both biological and social factors. “What we lack in Switzerland is an overview of the results of relevant studies on the measures that have already been taken and the recommendations that could improve this situation.” Berset pointed out that only a small part of the possible measures are within the competence of the Confederation. Nevertheless, the planned report could serve as a basis for the elaboration of concrete measures with various actors.

Postulat Fehlmann: (German) (French)