Annamaria Müller

Annamaria Müller

Meeting the health needs of populations "now and tomorrow"

Sciana member Annamaria Müller wants to help rethink health care in Switzerland with her new consulting firm

For Annamaria Müller, health care is more than just hospitals. After 10 years of heading the Cantonal Office for Hospital Services in Bern, Switzerland, she has recently switched tracks to work as an independent consultant with her new firm Amidea - New Health Care Solutions.

“I thought the reach of what I was doing was not really getting very far because I was just in charge of the hospital sector ... And I wanted to contribute to better health care and to changing our actual system towards something more sustainable and more apt to really meet the health care needs of the population now and tomorrow,” she explains in an interview with Sciana.

Amidea – New Health Care Solutions looks to master the challenges of the future by breaking new ground in health care. They see four ways to make this happen.

  • Health services must be coherent and comprehensive in the future.
  • Breakpoints have to be cemented, and interfaces have to be put together.
  • Gaps have to be filled and duplications eliminated.
  • All contributors, specialists, patients, relatives, and supporters must be able to make their contribution competently, collectively, and with pleasure.

Amidea’s website also has a blog to encourage dialogue for finding solutions to shared problems.

Müller already has an extensive résumé, having worked at the Swiss Medical Association (FMH), the Department of Health of the Canton of Zurich and the Swiss Conference of the Cantonal Ministers of Public Health.

With this consulting platform, she is using all of this experience to bring the focus of health care to the individuals rather than the organizations. She wants to help companies, organizations, institutions, or joint ventures between different institutions to work towards more integrated and comprehensive care. She also wants these stakeholders to “put the needs of the citizens with health issues at the centre of what they’re doing” instead of focusing only on improving their business affairs.

One major challenge she sees in the facing health and health care in Switzerland is that the government spends a lot on it. In 2016, they were the only country within the European Union to spend over €8,000 per resident. The health care expenditure as a percentage of GDP (currently 12.3%) is also the highest in Europe. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) notes the Swiss health system achieves good health outcomes but at a relatively high cost. Health spending per capita and as a share of GDP is the second highest across the OECD, after the United States.

Another frustration within the health care sector in Switzerland is the over-complexity of the existing systems. “It’s like a huge pile of Mikado sticks. Nobody knows what’s going to happen if you try to move one stick, but you cannot move one stick without shaking the whole bundle. So nothing really happens. Everything is stuck. And I’m willing to contribute to this to change,” she says.

In addition to consulting, Müller has recently become the new chair of the board of Freiburg Hospital. In this role, she will also make a contribution by bringing health care solutions closer to the people who need it, especially addressing the needs of older people and those with chronic illnesses.

Müller is a member of Sciana: The Health Leaders Network - an initiative that convenes exceptional frontrunners in health and health care policy and innovation across Europe. She credits Sciana for motivating her to make a change in her career.

She says, “I think the Sciana program started to change the one thing that is the most important; that is, one’s mindset… It was like a spark, and slowly, via the work of Sciana, it became also clear to me what should be done and in which direction the changes should be leading. So I think without Sciana, I’d probably still be where I was before.”