Learning from the experiences of women living with chronic illnesses  and improving healthcare provision


Starting point and goal

Switzerland has one of the best healthcare systems in Europe. Yet, access to healthcare is limited for certain groups within the population. Migrant women, for example, use healthcare services (such as screening programmes) less often than the rest of the population although they are more likely to suffer from chronic disorders. So far, the practical experience gained by patients has rarely been incorporated into approaches to define and describe the problems. Women suffering from chronic illnesses have played no active role in the search for solutions. The aim of the study is to show how women living with chronic illnesses experience the Swiss health system, and how they perceive, interpret and use it. A set of recommendations for improving access to healthcare will be developed with the participation of care providers, decision makers and patients.



MIWOCA is an interdisciplinary study, coordinated by the University of Bern (ISPM, Prof. Dr. Thomas Abel; Dr. Romaine Farquet). It builds on a collaboration involving experts from universities in Geneva (Prof. Dr. Sandro Cattacin), Tübingen (Dr. Annika Frahsa) and Istanbul (Prof. Dr. Sibel Sakarya). These experts form a “core team”, which is designing and implementing the different project modules. Institutions outside academia, which provide social services and healthcare for migrant populations, serve as advisors to this core group. An international board of researchers will provide advice on the scientific aspects of the project. Two PhD Students (Luna de Araujo and Tevfik Bayram) a scientific associate (Leonie Mugglin) and a research assistant (Sophie Meyer) complement the MIWOCA team.