Health System - Health Care

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Health System - Health Care
Health System - Health Care

Video: Health System - Health Care

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Video: Health of the Healthcare System 2023, January
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The healthcare system at a glance

Health security is a public task in Austria and the health system is publicly organized. This means: the federal government, states, municipalities, social security and legal interest groups (e.g. chambers, patient advocacy etc.) are responsible for various sub-areas of the health system: e.g. legislation, administration, financing, service provision, quality control, training, etc. The health services are provided by both public as well as provided by private institutions.

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  • Who has access to healthcare?
  • Social health and accident insurance benefits
  • Outpatient & inpatient care
  • Health promotion and prevention
  • Organization and financing of the health system
  • Health system regulators - targeting health
  • Financial security of the system

Health care expenditure is financed primarily from public funds - namely social security contributions and taxpayers' money - as well as from private contributions. Private funds include, for example, prescription fees, daily allowances for hospital stays, deductibles or private health insurance. Social insurance is financed by contributions from the insured person; in the case of employed persons, employers also pay contributions.

Who has access to healthcare?

An essential feature of the Austrian health system is equal and easy access to all health services for everyone, regardless of age, place of residence, origin and social status, and regardless of the type or scope of the services. This is mainly made possible by solidarity-based financing, which is regulated in social law and social security law as well as in additional agreements (e.g. agreements according to Art. 15a B-VG between the federal government and the states) (solidarity principle).

The social security system is a cornerstone of the health care system. It comprises the branches of health, accident and pension insurance and is based on the model of compulsory insurance. Almost the entire population is protected by health insurance thanks to the statutory compulsory insurance. In addition to social health insurance, additional private insurance can be taken out.

In principle, compulsory insurance is linked to gainful employment, and family members or life partners can also be insured. There are also regulations for retirees and the unemployed. Self-insurance is also possible in the Austrian social security system under certain conditions. People without health insurance have to pay for the health services themselves - except for first aid services.

Social health and accident insurance benefits

Health care for the Austrian population is covered by social health and accident insurance. Your services include, for example: medical help (outpatient care), hospital care (inpatient care), medical rehabilitation, medication, medical home nursing and midwifery services, psychotherapy and clinical-psychological diagnostics, treatments by medical-technical services, mother-child passport Examinations, health and preventive examinations, travel and transport costs, subsidies for medical aids and aids, sick pay, maternity allowance in the event of a birth or medical treatment after an accident.

You can find a detailed overview of the health insurance and accident insurance benefits on and on the social insurance website.

Outpatient & inpatient care

The outpatient medical care of the population takes place in three ways: The largest share is taken over by general practitioners, specialists and dentists in their practices. About half of the resident doctors have contracts with one or more health insurance companies. The so-called “extramural area” of outpatient care also includes the outpatient departments of the health insurance companies and other (privately managed) independent outpatient departments. In addition, hospital outpatient departments are available in the hospitals (“intramural area”) for outpatient care. Outpatient care also includes remedies and medical aids. Outpatient care is provided by other health professions,such as occupational and physiotherapists, midwives, speech therapists, etc.

For more information, see Visiting a Doctor.

Primary care close to home is to be expanded through multi-professional and interdisciplinary health centers. Further information can be found at www.mehrgesundheit.gv.at and www.pve.gv.at.

Inpatient medical care for the Austrian population is provided by public, private non-profit and purely private hospitals. The operators or sponsors of the hospitals include the federal states with their national companies, municipalities or associations of municipalities, religious communities (denominational sponsors), social insurance carriers or private sponsors.

For more information, see the Hospitals in Numbers website and Hospitalization.

Health promotion and prevention

A gain in healthy years of life for the population can be achieved not only through more health care, but rather through effective health promotion and prevention. In this context, health promotion was anchored as a compulsory task of social health insurance. The aim is to promote the development of healthy living spaces and to support healthy behavior.

Measures and initiatives for health promotion and disease prevention in Austria have been anchored in the Health Promotion Act since 1998. The Healthy Austria Fund (FGÖ) is the nationwide contact point for health promotion and prevention. He promotes projects and runs information campaigns in these areas. The development of health promotion projects is also a task for the federal states.

You can find more information on the social security website and in the article The health administration of the federal states.

Organization and financing of the health system

The responsibilities for the design of the health system are essentially divided between the federal, state, local and social security as a self-governing body. The federal government is responsible, for example, for legislation - in the hospital sector only for basic legislation - for the health professions, for public health and pharmaceuticals, for consumer health (e.g. food safety, genetic engineering) and for other national health system issues. State matters are, for example, the implementation legislation or the provision of hospital care. Furthermore, health administration is largely carried out by the federal states and municipalities. The social insurance regulates, among other things, the supply of resident doctors together with the medical association.The financing of public health care is also regulated between the social security system and the federal, state and local governments.

The distribution of responsibilities in the health system requires that those responsible coordinate important decisions with one another. For this purpose, agreements and contracts are concluded - e.g. the agreement in accordance with Art. 15a B-VG on the organization and financing of the health care system. This is a fixed-term domestic contract between the federal government and the nine federal states in which important framework conditions are laid down. For more information, see Health Reform - Targeting Health.

Health system regulators - targeting health

The Federal Health Agency (BGA) was set up as the central body for planning, controlling and financing the health system in the course of the health reform in 2005. The organs of the BGA are the Federal Target Control Commission and the Permanent Coordination Committee.

State health funds have been set up in the federal states. They implement the principles developed by the BGA. The corresponding organs of the state health fund are the state health platforms and the state target control commission.

In the course of the health reform started in 2013, a partnership target control system was set up to jointly control the structure, organization and financing of Austrian health care. Domestic contracts (agreements according to Art. 15a B-VG), which are concluded at regular intervals between the federal government and the federal states - with the inclusion of social security - serve as the legal basis. In these agreements on target control health, the principles of health policy, structure, content and process of target control health as well as the necessary decision-making structures at federal and state level - a federal goal control commission and nine state goal control commissions - are anchored.For more information, see Health Reform - Targeting Health.

Financial security of the system

The health system is financed by a mixture of income-related social security contributions, tax-financed public money and private co-payments in the form of direct and indirect cost contributions. This solidarity-based financing ensures fair access to health services - regardless of income, age, gender or origin.

For more information, see: Public Health Funding.

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