The Austrian Ministry of Health is preparing a health reform, in which it plans to build new health centers. They currently have only 39 in seven federal states. There is a shortage of around 300 doctors in Austria.
In Austria, patients can only choose between public and private general and family doctors or hospitals. Health centers are almost unknown, so family doctors also carry out basic laboratory tests, such as blood or urine samples.
Due to the overload of general practitioners, young doctors are moving to bigger cities, while 46 percent of doctors are private practitioners. Doctors are also overworked in hospitals, says Susanne Greber Platzer, head of the Pediatric Clinic in Vienna, which is why they want to build medical centers.
“If I have the opportunity to go to such a larger center, where I would have more services at my disposal, I would of course choose it and I would not have to go to the hospital,” Greber Platzer said.
By 2025, the Ministry of Health is planning an additional 82 health centers, for a total of 121. As the vice-president of the Austrian Medical Association, Harald Schlögel, emphasizes, changes are necessary. “Junior doctors want to work in teams and have a balanced life, not work in hospitals seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” he said.