The Swiss Hospitals for Equity Network emerged from the experience acquired during the European “Migrant friendly Hospitals” project funded by the European Commission between 2002 and 2004 and conducted by 12 hospital institutions in 12 different countries of the European Union.

Initially the Federal Office of Public Health provided financial support under the same project name (MFH) for targeted measures in hospitals between 2005 and 2006, as part of its national Migration and Public Health Strategy started in 2002. The results and recommendations from this stage in Switzerland are published in a manual on this subject. In a second step the FOPH selected 5 hospitals and hospital groups to become excellence centers, capable to respond to the specific needs of migrant populations in Switzerland. This selection was based on their funding requests, and to the condition that the hospitals/hospital groups would co finance the programs.

In 2014 the Hospital members decided to rename the network "Swiss Hospitals for Equity", willing to emphasize the importance to provide and ensure quality healthcare for all patients, not only migrants.