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What's the healthcare in Austria like?


cornwall's picture
By cornwall - Posted on
14 April 2011

I've heard rumours that the healthcare in Austria is absolutely excellent -- are these true?  I'm busy shopping around for a place to go teach ESL in next year, and am getting more and more attracted to the idea of Vienna every day...

DavidC's picture
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Last seen: 6 years 28 weeks ago
Joined: 06/04/2011

Well, coming from America, I would rate the healthcare system in Austria, on a scale 1 through 10, a definite 12!

Back in the States we don’t have socialised medicine, and it truly has been wonderful to take advantage of this system in Austria.

I became ill once with a bad virus, and walked into an ER and was taken in, given tests, examined and I walked out not paying a dime! It was really great care and now if anything is not right I am not afraid of going to a hospital and having them check what is wrong.

It is such a weight off one's mind, being in a foreign country, and not having to worry too much about getting sick!

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Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I am doing a paper for my Global Health Class and need to chat with some one who has lived or lives in Austria and what there experience has been with the health care system. I have read that sometimes there is a long wait to see a specialist, is this true? Are there any other problems in accessing care or paying for care. I understand that some people purchase secondary insurance why would this be needed. What is not covered by the regular insurance provided by the government.

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Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I have lived in Austria for 6 months and have been to the doctor several times. I am seeing a specialist and I had a 2 week wait to get in for my first appointment and now that I am a patient with them I can get in on very short notice so I think that their wait times are very reasonable. We haven't had any issues in accessing care or paying for care. My spouse's employer contributes part of the health insurance fee and we pay a small amount but I think it is reasonably priced compared to employer contributions typically required in the U.S. I don't know anything about secondary insurance except that some people buy it so they can go to private hospitals or see private doctors. The public hospitals and doctors are excellent here and I see no need to purchase secondary insurance. I don't know of anything that isn't covered by the government insurance. Some special treatments, such as acupuncture, are only partially covered (the health insurance pays 40%) but otherwise it seems to me that all things are covered and require little to no out-of-pocket fees for the patient. You can view an English guide to a public Austrian health insurance plan here (just click on BVA inform 2011 (Englisch): http://www.bva.at/portal27/portal/bvaportal/channel_content/cmsWindow?p_tabid=5&p_menuid=8241&action=2

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Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Has anyone had experience with workplace or school health promotion in Austria that is mentioned on the BVA website

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Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I have been living in Austria for the past 4 years now and also heard over and over about how good the medical system here is,but I don't know if its my luck or if I just end up with all the worst doctors here,eithe way I'd jus like to share with you a story that just happened to me recently I was in a well known hospital in vienna registered my self in the hno(ent) department of the hospital to be checked,I also told the lady at the counter I was having breathing difficulties and hence there was a whole lot of people ahead me she told me my waiting hours to see the doctor can be up to 3 hours since I was feeling v sick and had no other doctor to consult at that particular moment I decided to stay,mind you my German isn't very good so I was conversing in English the whole time anyway time passes and one by one the patients get called in and finally leaves it to just me and another young lady this is after 3 whole hours of waiting!!finally the doctor calls In the patient before me so I think to myself ok so finally it's going to be my turn but NO just after the lady walks out of the ordination the doctor walks out so I thought to myself ok maybe he is just goin to get a cup of coffee or so,so I still wait 10-15 mins there is no sign of him I went up to the registration counter and asked the lady what was goin on??i said I am the las patient here waitin for over 3 hours with a sick toddler and I still haven been called in and the doctor just walked out what's happening??she was like yes I understand but we need to finish the other patients ahead of you,I asks her what she was talkin about and to look outside I'm the only person here then she says hang on I will call the doctor she then calls this "Dr" he had jus left the station to go in to another one or something and wanted me to wait another entire hour!!!seriously what doctor does that??what doctor leve his last patient without being checked??also note I was with a sick toddler..I still have no answers as to why the so called doctor jus left,what sort of a medical system is this???patients Come to be treated not mis treated,I certainly was and I'm not sure if it was cos my skins not white or if It was cos I spoke English!!

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