Primary Care Social Work

Social workers already work in medical
practices in other countries, but the service is lacking in Switzerland. To enable the model to be implemented and researched in this country, the BFH launched a project with pilot practices.



​Research on health inequality clearly shows that social and financial factors are among the biggest determinants of health. Family doctors (GPs) are often the first point of contact for people with concerns that are on the face of it medical but which hide financial, social or personal crises. As a person of trust they often have a unique opportunity to identify biopsychosocial problems and offer professional help in good time. Having a social worker in the medical practice facilitates easy and reliable referrals and targeted support, and prevents patients from getting into a downward health and social spiral.

Course of action

​From 2020 the project will accompany and evaluate existing and newly-offered practice social workers as well as the relevant cooperation set-ups. ​

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 3: Good health and well-being