Health Check-up - What Is Done?

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Health Check-up - What Is Done?
Health Check-up - What Is Done?
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Video: What is Health Checkup - Important Screenings and Tests You Need To Be Aware Of 2023, February
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The medical check-up at a glance

“Prevention is better than cure” - the health check as part of the preventive medical check-up provides important information about the general state of health. In this way, chronic diseases can be recognized at an early stage and possible risk factors can be minimized through appropriate measures. The early detection of diseases can improve the chances of recovery. One focus of the preventive medical check-up is cardiovascular and cancer diseases. These diseases are among the most common causes of death nationwide.

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  • Goals of the preventive medical examination
  • Success story of the preventive medical examination
  • Investigation program
  • Whom can I ask?
  • Who is entitled to the preventive medical check-up?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?
  • What should be brought to the examination?

Goals of the preventive medical examination

The preventive medical check-up has two goals:

  • the avoidance of health risk factors (primary prevention) and
  • the early detection of diseases (secondary prevention).

The first is to prevent diseases from developing by recognizing and reducing a health risk in good time. Second, diseases should be discovered as early as possible and still easily treatable in order to achieve better chances of recovery.

One focus of the preventive medical check-up is cardiovascular and cancer diseases. These diseases are among the most common causes of death nationwide. According to surveys by Statistics Austria, around 12,000 people in Austria suffer a heart attack every year. About half of those affected die as a result. The cancers take second place in the order of the causes of death with approx. 25 percent. The aim of preventive medical check-ups is also to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer and the number of deaths.

Success story of the preventive medical examination

According to the umbrella association of Austrian social insurance companies, preventive medical examinations have played a major role in the increase in life expectancy over the past few decades: when medical medical check-ups were introduced in Austria in 1974, the average life expectancy of women was around 75 years and that of men 67 years. Today women live an average of seven and men eight years longer.

The effectiveness of the preventive medical check-up can also be seen with individual illnesses. Since the introduction of a simple smear test (PAP smear), the death rate from cervical cancer has been reduced by 50 percent over the past two decades. In addition, treating high blood pressure early has helped reduce deaths from stroke by 45 percent since 1980.

Investigation program

The main focus of the screening program is the early detection and prevention of certain diseases. The examination program includes:

Early detection of risk factors for cardiovascular disease

For the early detection of a disease of the cardiovascular system, an individual risk profile is created during the preventive examination. Here, lifestyle habits (for example smoking or alcohol consumption) are related to physical and internal values ​​- such as weight or blood pressure.

Early detection of risk factors for metabolic diseases

Screening for diabetes mellitus is an essential part of the preventive medical check-up. To assess the risk of diabetes, the doctor will review the medical history and ask about any family history of diabetes. With the help of blood sugar measurement, diseases that are associated with too high or too low a blood sugar level, such as diabetes mellitus, can be diagnosed.

Early detection of common cancers

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Austria. The early detection of cancer makes it possible to use therapy methods that are less stressful than therapies for advanced cancer

  • Cervical cancer: For early detection of cervical cancer, women over the age of 18 are recommended to have the so-called PAP smear (cancer smear) during the preventive medical check-up.
  • Breast cancer: All women between the ages of 45 and 69 who live in Austria and are insured with a participating social insurance agency can only have their e-card for a mammography examination every 24 months for early detection purposes. More information under breast cancer screening.
  • Colon cancer: As part of the check-up, a colonoscopy is offered every ten years from the age of 50 and a test for occult (optically invisible) blood in the stool at every check-up.

Prevention of addictions

The research program has its own focus on the prevention of addictions. The consumption of tobacco, alcohol and medication is surveyed and support and help with quitting is offered

Prevention of periodontal disease

Periodontitis (bacterial periodontal disease) is considered to be the greatest risk factor for tooth loss from the age of 30. Seventy percent of tooth losses are caused by chronic periodontitis. The disease is often painless and therefore often goes unnoticed. The aim of the preventive medical check-up is to identify the risk of periodontal disease and to slow down or stop the course of the disease through appropriate prevention.

Prevention of old age diseases

For people who are over 65 years of age = ", greater attention is paid to hearing and vision during the preventive medical check-up. Almost a third of people over 65 have a hearing or visual impairment. Many people do not recognize deteriorating hearing in time. With appropriate treatment, the quality of life can be significantly increased.

Whom can I ask?

The preventive medical check-up can only be used by resident doctors with their own health insurance contract for the preventive medical check-up or by contractual institutions or health centers of the health insurance companies.

The basic examinations are offered by:

  • general practitioners in private practice,
  • Specialists in internal medicine,
  • Specialists in pulmonary medicine.

Note The PAP smear can be carried out by both general practitioners and general practitioners in private practice as specialists in gynecology and obstetrics.

Mammography as an additional examination is offered by:

Specialists in radiology

As part of the new Austrian breast cancer early detection program, women between the ages of 45 and 69 receive a personal invitation letter for a mammography examination every two years by post. Women between the ages of 40 and 44 and between 70 and 74 can request an invitation from the free telephone service line. A doctor's referral for mammography is no longer necessary in addition to this invitation. In the event of complaints or suspicion of illness, there is still the option of a diagnostic mammography. The doctor's referral takes place here, regardless of age, outside of the Austrian breast cancer early detection program, using a list of indications that was drawn up jointly by the social security and Austrian Medical Association.

The colonoscopy as an additional examination

The colonoscopy can be performed by specialists in internal medicine or surgery as well as in the hospital in the departments for internal medicine / gastroenterology or surgery. A bank transfer is required.

Note In order to ensure quality in preventive colonoscopy, the umbrella association of Austrian social insurance funds, together with the Austrian Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology, has launched the project "Quality Certificate for Colon Cancer Prevention". A list of all doctors who have this certificate can be found on the homepage of the ÖGGH.

If you have any questions or advice on preventive medical check-ups, the staff on the “Medical check-up” service line will be happy to help you by phone on 0800 501 522 or by email at vu [at] social insurance [dot] at.

Who is entitled to the preventive medical check-up?

The preventive medical check-up can be used once a year free of charge by all persons aged 18 and over who are resident in Austria. People who do not have health insurance can also take advantage of the preventive medical check-up if they obtain a replacement health insurance certificate for the check-up at the regional office of the Austrian Health Insurance Fund responsible for their place of residence.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The medical check-up can be used once a year at the expense of social security. Uninsured persons are also entitled to it. The locally responsible regional office of the Austrian Health Insurance Fund pays the costs for them.

What should be brought to the examination?

  • Your e-card or replacement health insurance certificate is required as proof of entitlement.
  • It is also advisable to bring old findings from previous examinations with you.
  • If you have already had a medical check-up, take the doctor's letter with you that you received at the time. In this way, your doctor can determine whether values ​​have changed.
  • Take with you a list of all the medications you take regularly.

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