Effects of care migration
An investigation into care migration has identified structural weaknesses in long-term domestic care in Switzerland.
The need for care is increasing in Switzerland, as it is across Europe as a whole. At the same time, issues regarding a financially sustainable and personally achievable domestic healthcare provision are becoming increasingly widespread. In recent years, a market for care services in private homes has developed in Switzerland. Care migrants, primarily from central and eastern Europe, are coming into local homes for a certain amount of time to take on care work for people in need of care and support.
In cooperation with the Swiss Health Observatory (Obsan) the survey entitledg “Care-Migration – transnational care arrangements in the private household” was published in July 2013 as Obsan report 57. Careum Research investigated the relevance for health policy and the extent and the effects of care migration on Switzerland's healthcare system, from the perspective of relatives providing care and experts from Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Findings indicate that care migration in Switzerland is quantitatively manageable. However, quantification based on inadequate statistical visibility is essentially difficult.
For many relatives providing care, the following considerations are particularly important when it comes to employing a care migrant: the desire of the person being cared for to remain at home, security of life at home and consistency of staff providing the care. The affordability of this type of care plays a key role in decision-making. The expert interviews indicate structural weaknesses in long-term domestic care in Switzerland, both with regard to the services available on the market, as well as the financial logic. Overall, the interviews document policy requirements to ensure long-term domestic care that is affordable for private homes, yet provides fair working conditions for the care workers. It appears that everyone involved needs more information and advice.
Obsan report 57
van Holten, K., Jähnke, A., & Bischofberger, I. (2013). Care-Migration – transnationale Sorgearrangements im Privathaushalt (Obsan Bericht 57). Neuchâtel: Schweizerisches Gesundheitsobservatorium. Full text (german) available for download or Order form for printed version.
Federal Statistical Office, Swiss Health Observatory (Obsan)
Jähnke, A., Truong, J., & Martin, M. (2012). Workshop Care-Migrantinnen in der häuslichen Versorgung. Moderation: Karin van Holten. Swiss Congress for Health Professions. Winterthur, 31. Mai 2012. PDF
van Holten, K., & Soom Ammann, E. (2015). Negotiating the potato: The challenge of dealing with multiple diversities in elderly care. In V. Horn & C. Schweppe (Hrsg.), Transnational Aging. Current insights and future challenges (S. 200–217). London: Routledge. Verlag
Abendveranstaltung «Sollen wir eine Care-Migrantin anstellen?» vom 14. Mai 2013 in Aarau.
Radio SRF 4 News: Care Migrantinnen in der Schweiz, 24. Juli 2013, www.srf.ch
van Holten, K. (2014). Pflegetrends in Privathaushalten – neu verteilen oder auslagern? Präsentation. Fachstelle für die Gleichstellung von Frauen und Männern Kanton Bern. Thun, 29. April 2014. PDF
Walser, B. (01. Mai 2014). Eine Arbeit mit viel Präsenzzeit und wenig Privatsphäre. Berner Zeitung, 12-13. PDF
Schwerpunktausgabe des Online-Fachmagazins «FMC impulse» zu Angehörigen, Freiwilligen und Care Migrantinnen in der Pflege, Ausgabe 2015/2.