Austria ~ The Turntable for Leading Medical Competence

by Horst Bruggraber, MEng., MBA ,  Medical Tourism Magazine | 2009-06-01

Austria not only is the heart of Europe from a geopolitical point of view, it is also a renowned medical competence center within Europe. The so-called "first and second Viennese medical school" have become keywords with an impact reaching far beyond Austria's borders. 

Austrian doctors enjoy an internationally renowned reputation. The level of education and expertise of the doctors and medical staff in Austria is very high and their extra ordinary performance has become a daily routine for them. As a result their expertise and capabilities are frequently sought after on a world-wide scale. A major source of expertise is the Medical University of Vienna - Austria's largest medical training center. With its long history and tradition, which began 640 years ago, it has developed into a highly modern research institution that covers an area of 40,000 m². The Medical University of Vienna relies on the "triple track" strategy. Research, education and patient care represent the three cornerstones of the university's system. This enables medical science to respond flexibly to the continually changing demands of the state and society. In the process, maintenance of health as well as therapy, abatement of symptoms and prevention of diseases stand in the foreground. Each year 95,000 patients are treated as inpatients in 31 university clinics, 45,000 operations are conducted and 500,000 outpatients receive initial treatment in the day-clinics.

The leading edge of the Austrian healthcare system is frequently acknowledged by publications of independent and highly renowned institutes such as the European Health Consumer Index and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, to name a few. Let’s take the European Health Consumer Index as an example. Austria scored first in 2007 and was in the top three 2008. In other words the European Health Consumer Index (EHCI) ranked the Austrian healthcare system as the most consumer friendly healthcare system in Europe. It is worth mentioning that the EHCI also pointed out that Austria is way ahead of countries such as Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg to name a few, where more financial support is allocated into the system. Austria’s healthcare system is not only top, it is also very efficient. To safeguard this high level of quality is one of the key priorities of the Austrian government. Social responsibility and to assure highest level of security are as much priorities as to assure top quality treatments and aftercare. Significant efforts in quality management, accreditations and national and international benchmarking are employed to maintain and even further improve quality of care in Austria.

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