The Swiss Network for Health Technology Assessment / SNHTA was founded in 1999 under the legal form of an association. As an introduction regarding the growing importance of HTA, we would like to draw your attention to the mission statements of Swiss Health Care Opinion Leaders, Members of our Network.
Like many other countries, Switzerland is affected by the increase in health care costs, a problem to which the minister of home affairs devotes his full attention. One way to counteract this trend certainly is Health Technology Assessment (HTA) i.e., the scientific evaluation of medical technologies in view of their effectiveness, appropriateness, and efficiency as well as social and ethical aspects and implications.
HTA has a long tradition in Switzerland. The Medical Technology Unit of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (MTU of SFOPH) e.g. has been doing HTA for decision making since the early 1980ies.
Technology Assessment in Public Health Care in a broader sense is being practiced by other Federal Offices and University Institutes as well. The Centre for Technology Assessment at the Swiss Science and Technology Council (SSTC) e.g. published a report on Xenotransplantation.
In times of Public Administration's budget restrictions, the government is obliged to obtain better value for the money invested. This fact led to the idea to create a Swiss Network. By assignment of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, the Centre for Technology Assessment at the SSTC and MTU of SFOPH provided the preparatory work and so the foundation of the Swiss Network for Health Technology Assessment / SNHTA took place in June 1999.
All government agencies, all University Institutes, several University Hospitals dealing with Technology Assessment and the Swiss Medical Association are SNHTA-members. A first Cantonal Health Office - of Ticino - has become a member as well. Further Cantonal authorities and other institutions / organizations / bodies dealing with HTA are welcome to join the Network provided that they meet the requirements as stated in the By-Laws.