In 2015, in the Bern Canton, Switzerland, the obstetric department at Zweisimmen hospital was closed. As a response, the local population (counting about 3 000 inhabitants) created in the same year a cooperative to maintain obstetric care services at local level. Just two year later, in 2017, this collective action led to the opening of the Alpine Maternity in Zweisimmen.
During its first year, 61 women gave birth at the Alpine Maternity and up to 80 deliveries are planned each year. Overall, in the Obersimmental-Saanenland region, 51% of natural childbirth happen at the Alpine Maternity.
The opening of a maternity improves the provision of services in the region. The collective engagement of this local community to address the lack of care in the region and the governance model of the cooperative make it an inspiring social innovation.
Discover in our good practice how the Alpine Maternity is funded and governed and get inspired by this experience to maintain services of general interest.24 June 2020