New building at the Inselspital Bern – Harsh criticism of the “most modern hospital in Switzerland” – News


Employees consider the main building of the Bern Island Hospital to be “bad planning”.

Experts planned and built the new island hospital for almost ten years. The hospital put the new building into operation in late summer 2023. There was talk of a “lighthouse” for the hospital landscape. But after around five months of operation, the employees are disillusioned. There is talk of poor planning and a lack of appreciation for the staff.

Life is made difficult for us.

Employees of the archipelago report to SRF about various deficiencies. It starts with the cloakroom: “The staff cloakrooms are far too small and too narrow,” says an employee who, like everyone else, wishes to remain anonymous. “And there’s hardly any space in the cupboards.” Because the rooms are so narrow, employees have even injured themselves on the sharp-edged cupboard doors.


A room for patients shortly before the opening in summer 2023.

Keystone/Marcel Bieri

There are hardly any lounges for the staff in the new building and the catering options are unsatisfactory, especially at night. “Life is being made difficult for us,” sums up a nursing staff member.

A lot of euphoria at the opening

Review: At the opening, those responsible praised the new building for its high efficiency. During the planning, care was taken to ensure that distances were short and that the various areas of the hospital were better connected. There are also economic reasons for this: fewer nurses or doctors are needed per patient.

“Thanks to the improved efficiency, we can care for more patients with the same number of staff,” said Uwe Jocham, director of the Inselspital, at the opening. With the new building, the Inselspital is prepared for the future.

But today, employees don’t feel the need for short distances. On the contrary: they complain about the long journeys. Be it the break rooms, the toilets or the materials for patient care. «I’m used to walking a lot. But the situation here is getting to the point,” reports a nursing specialist.

The island employees also describe the lack of sockets as “bad planning”. Staff were encouraged to write reports on laptops in the hallways. But there are simply not enough sockets in the hallways.

Sick staff because of ventilation?

Employees of the archipelago are also bothered by the indoor climate. The air is very dry and the patients’ rooms can hardly be ventilated. “With the various exhalations from the patients, it is sometimes very unpleasant – for us, but also for the sick people.”



The new Anna Seiler House (left) is located right next to the old main building.

Thomas Pressmann/SRF

The situation in the hospital has an impact on the staff; an above-average number of employees are sick. «We didn’t expect any luxury. But ultimately everything has to do with a lack of appreciation – and that’s a shame,” a nursing specialist told SRF.

What the hospital management says

The archipelago is initially making a written statement and will not explain the situation on site until mid-week. The statement states that the management is “very satisfied” with the new building and that the “high expectations were even exceeded in some cases”.

We are observing an increase in sickness-related absences in companies across Switzerland.

The staff was taken into consideration during the planning stage. In general, many employees are sick. “We are observing an increase in sickness-related absences in companies across Switzerland.”

The hospital management also admits that not everything is going smoothly yet. “We are now in the optimization process.” And: “Sometimes the changeover still needs some time.”

source site-72