Infection control in hospitals is not mandatory in Switzerland as in the United States. There are more than 300 acute-care hospitals in Switzerland. Hospitals are reimbursed by patient-days rather than diagnosis-related group. However, all five Swiss university hospitals have developed an infection control program. The major criteria for setting up and running these programs are reviewed; data are based on a questionnaire and personal interviewing of each institution. Most of the major criteria exist in all five institutions. Resources allocated to infection control differ markedly. The number of infection control nurses per 250 beds varies between 0.2 and 0.75 for the five hospitals; the activity of those in charge of infection control differs between hospitals. A comparison is made between the Swiss and U.S. programs with regard to some aspects of healthcare and infection control.