The Health and Social Affairs (GS) is the FSO's centre of excellence for statistics in Health and Social Affairs. It is responsible for producing and disseminating statistical information in these areas as well as the following topics: social security, social and financial situation of private households, occupational pension plans, politics, culture and media as well as crime and criminal law.
The pension fund statistics offer an overview of the current status and changes to occupational pension plans in Switzerland. The survey only covers public and private pension funds (mandatory and non-mandatory contributions) which provide salaried employees protection against the economic consequences of loss of income as a result of age, death and invalidity in the scope of the 2nd pillar.
The aim of the pension fund statistics is on the one hand to portray the structure and the development of occupational pension plans and on the other hand, to provide data for the national accounts and the social security accounts.
Other organisations interested in these data include the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO), the Swiss National Bank, associations, scientists, politicians, specialists, international organisations (OECD, Eurostat) and the general public.
The Social Welfare section's main task is the development and publication of the nationwide Swiss Social Assistance Statistics, which provide the Confederation, the cantons and other bodies involved in socio-economic policy with important basic data for socio-political decision-making. In the form of recipient statistics which have been carried out and analysed on the basis of a full survey since 2009 in all cantons (involving around 200,000 case files), the Social Assistance Statistics (SAS) provide information on:
- The number of social assistance recipients and the structure of this group
- The problems of social assistance recipients
- The type and scope of services (including other means-tested social benefits)
- The dynamics of assistance take-up (number of new recipients, duration of benefits etc.)
A meaningful comparison of cantons, districts and communes is also possible thanks to the Social Welfare section.
Further important tasks are the partial integration of social assistance recipients from the refugee and asylum statistics into the social welfare statistics, the survey of basic data to calculate the poverty indicator as part of the reform of the financial equalisation of burdens and task sharing between the Confederation and the cantons (NFA) as well as the specific analyses of target groups (e.g. the initiative of Swiss cities on social policy) and analyses of the social security system. The section has around 26 members of staff, divided into the four areas of "data collection and processing, management of social welfare systems (data warehouse und IT coordination), data processing and social security".
The section's mission is the statistical observation of crime and the response of state institutions to reported criminal behaviour. Criminal statistics have been collected since the beginning of the 19th century: first at cantonal level and since the middle of the 19th century also increasingly at the federal level.
From the very beginning the object of the surveys has been the scale, structure and evolution of reported offences, convictions and prisoners; increasingly, more complex issues have been dealt with such as recidivism, the efficiency and effect of disciplinary interventions, or the peculiarities of the Swiss criminal justice system. The surveys' theoretical and technical foundations, their content and quality as well as the statistical interpretation and analyses are also represented.
The section Health services (GESV) collects statistical data from the health providers (notably the hospitals, residential homes, medical practices, home care organisations). The surveys comprise operational data (structure, finances and personnel), data on health professionals (activity and education) and patient-related data (services and diagnoses). Health care data are used both for statistical and for administrative purposes. Based upon these surveys and various other sources, the section compiles statistics on the overview of the health system, especially on its costs and financing.
The section Population Health (GESB) collects statistical data on the population and health care. It carries out important data collections on the population's health such as the Swiss Health Survey (SHS), causes of death and cancer epidemiology and also compiles reproduction statistics. Moreover, it deals with medical classifications and compiling coding guidelines for their application.
The Politics, Culture and Media Section analyses the political climate in Switzerland and observes the cultural and media landscape. In politics, the main emphasis is on National Council elections and referendums, while further themes are women in politics and cantonal and communal elections. The Culture unit produces statistics on the funding of culture (public and private expenditure), cultural infrastructure (cinema statistics and library statistics) and cultural behaviour. Media statistics compile key figures which describe the media landscape and its changes.
The Swiss Health Observatory (Obsan) is an institution of the Swiss Confederation and the cantons which was created as part of the National Health Policy project. The Health Observatory analyses health-related information available in Switzerland. It provides support to the Confederation, the cantons and other health service institutions in their planning, decision making and activities.
In addition to continuously monitoring health and the health care system, the Health Observatory is active in five other areas of competence: "costs and financing", "demography and health care delivery", "health professions and the delivery of health care", "health promotion and prevention" and "mental health, illness and disability". Obsan makes its findings available to the Confederation, the cantons and other health care institutions. It also provides customised analyses and consulting services to these partners.