On 18 January 2023, the Cantonal Court of Basel-Landschaft ruled that the Basel-Landschaft moratorium on doctors’ admissions is unlawful. The written ruling is now available. The court’s findings are unequivocal: the cantons must pass a law to regulate the moratorium on doctors' admissions.

About Hirslanden

Hirslanden is committed to high-quality, responsible and efficiently integrated healthcare that focuses on the needs of the individual. Working together with private and public cooperation partners, the Hirslanden Group prioritises ongoing development of the Continuum of Care concept. From birth to old age, from prevention to healing, Hirslanden is always there, both on a physical and digital level.

Hirslanden differentiates itself from the rest of the market as a service provider with first-class medical and service quality, which is guaranteed by highly qualified independent specialists with years of experience who offer excellent care and services. Interdisciplinary medical centres of expertise, specialised institutes and competent cooperation partners enable optimal, personalised diagnosis and treatment, regardless of case complexity, in both inpatient and outpatient contexts.

The Hirslanden Group operates 17 hospitals in 10 cantons, many of which have an emergency department. It also operates 5 outpatient surgical centres, 18 radiology and 6 radiotherapy institutes. The Group has 2,515 partner doctors and 11,025 employees, 551 of whom are permanently employed doctors. Hirslanden is the largest medical network in Switzerland. In the 2021/22 financial year, the Group generated turnover of CHF 1,885 million. As at 31 March 2022, the Group had treated 109,624 patients for a total of 472,301 inpatient days. The patient mix consisted of 51.3% patients with basic insurance, 28.2% with semi-private insurance and 20.5% with private insurance. The Hirslanden Group was formed in 1990 through the merger of several hospitals. Since 2007, it has been part of the international hospital group Mediclinic International plc, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

In spring 2022, the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft enacted a moratorium on the admission of doctors in eight medical specialties by way of ordinance. In doing so, they massively interfered with the economic freedom of the medical profession.

The Cantonal Court has now justified its ruling in writing. The decision to enact a cantonal government ordinance lacks the necessary legal basis. According to the principle of legality, all important legislative provisions must be enacted in the form of a law. This includes, in particular, the restriction of constitutional rights and the fundamental provisions regarding the rights and obligations of individuals.

Within the scope of controlling admissions, the cantons must decide on such fundamental and important provisions. As a result, these are to be enacted in the form of a law. The proper parliamentary process must be followed for this and, if necessary, a referendum must be held.

The Cantonal Court also expressly states that the two-year transitional period provides the cantons with sufficient time to prepare themselves accordingly. There are no grounds for emergency ordinances. The ruling underscores the importance of constitutional principles, particularly the principle of legality and democracy and the separation of powers, in healthcare. Hirslanden is also particularly delighted for the young doctors who make high-quality healthcare possible. Their rights are better protected with the ruling that has been delivered. If they should be restricted in their profession in the future, a proper legislative process will be required.

You can find a detailed summary of the written ruling here.

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Head Newsroom & Media Relations
Dr. Claude Kaufmann
Hirslanden AG
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