Today, Liechtenstein's healthcare system meets the healthcare standards of a modern state. All citizens aged 16 years or older must have health insurance. The high number of general practitioners and specialist doctors and the relatively small population mean that citizens enjoy excellent healthcare. In-patients are treated either in Liechtenstein's own hospital or in one of the hospitals in the surrounding region. Healthcare agreements have been established between Liechtenstein and these hospitals over the border.
Liechtenstein's healthcare system is closely linked to the country's economic and social situation. The first healthcare law ("Sanitätsgesetz") was passed in 1874 and set out the duties of the national doctor ("Landesphysikus") and the national veterinarean ("Landestierarzt"). Both act as experts for the government, with the national doctor responsible, among other things, for monitoring pharmacies and training midwives.
The 1921 constitution stipulated that the state is responsible for caring for the sick and combatting alcoholism. The second major healthcare law was passed in 1945 following the introduction of provisions on healthcare in schools (1935) and dental care in schools (1942). Regular check-ups were introduced in 1977, in particular for pregnant women and young children. In 2004 the Doctors' Act ("Ärztegesetz") and the Office of Public Health were introduced. This Office is in charge of coordinating the healthcare system on behalf of the government.