Doctors in Austria
Find out everything you need to know about visiting a doctor in Austria, so you can get the right care for you and your family.
Finding a doctor in Austria is hopefully not the first thing you need to do when relocating to the country. However, it is important to know your private health insurance options as well as how the healthcare system works. Knowing about local dental care is also helpful in taking care of your pearly whites. You may also want to look into physical therapy or alternative medicine options. Knowing your sexual health, women’s healthcare, children’s healthcare and mental healthcare options can also provide peace of mind when you need to access them.
To help you understand how to find and see doctors in Austria, this helpful guide provides the following information:
- Doctors in Austria
- Who can access doctors in Austria?
- Finding a Doctor in Austria
- Registering with a doctor in Austria
- Visiting a doctor in Austria
- What to expect when visiting a doctor in Austria
- Medical specialists in Austria
- Cost of doctors in Austria
- Health insurance in Austria
- Private doctors in Austria
- Doctor’s prescriptions in Austria
- Medical tests in Austria
- Emergency doctors in Austria
- Complaining about doctors in Austria
- Useful Austrian medical phrases
- Useful resources
Doctors in Austria
Fortunately for expats, Austria is known worldwide for its highly skilled doctors. In fact, the country has one of the best reputations in the world for its healthcare system, and the doctors in Austria are the cream of the crop. Furthermore, Austria has the second highest number of practicing physicians in the European Union after Greece.
Moreover, the density of doctors in Austria has increased over the past two decades, mostly with growth in specialist areas. As of 2018, there are 46,300 physicians working in the country.
As Austria is a hotspot for winter sports, orthopedics and sports injury practices have also developed over the years. Impressively, Doctors in Austria has one of the highest cancer survival rates in the European Union.
In short, Austria has a dual system of medical training. First, students must take a six-year medical degree. They can study in one of the three public universities and one private university. This includes the Medical University of Vienna, one of the most prestigious in the world. Second, doctors have to undergo three years of practical training to work as GPs. It takes another six years to train in a medical specialty.
Generally speaking, doctors in Austria have their own medical practices. However, they can also work in hospitals. Normal hours and visit times can vary significantly from clinic to clinic. Often, surgeries are open every morning, but not always in the afternoon. An important thing to note is that it is not common for clinics to be open on weekends.
Who can access doctors in Austria?
Essentially, everyone in Austria has access to medical care. When you become a resident, you will receive your health insurance card. This e-card, along with a photo ID, is what you need for medical appointments.
Tourists and visitors can also access doctors in Austria. You will pay at the clinic and later submit your receipt to your insurance company. A routine doctor’s visit will cost anything between €50 and €100, however, this varies by region. It’s important to note that serious injuries, such as ski accidents, can be incredibly expensive without travel insurance. Therefore, it is advisable to cover before you leave for your trip. Companies like World Nomads offer simple and flexible travel insurance policies that you can buy at home or on the road; So, it is worth watching.
Finding a Doctor in Austria
You can find a doctor through the Medical Association for Vienna. This comprehensive site provides information on doctors from all regions of the country as well as various medical sub-disciplines. Fortunately, Doctors in Austria, you can choose any doctor you want to see.
Bookimed also provides details of doctors listed by their specialties as well as some information on their background.
Find English speaking doctors in Austria
In general, most doctors in Austria are proficient in English. However, you can search specifically for an English (or other foreign language) speaking doctor on Praxisplaine. Fortunately, the site also filters doctors by specialty and overall services. In addition, the U.S. in Austria The embassy provides a list of English-speaking doctors in Vienna.
Registering with a doctor in Austria
Once you find a general practitioner in your area, you can book an appointment for a check-up. This way you can set yourself and your family up and establish a relationship with your doctor. This way it is not necessary to register in advance, but it is convenient for you when you need to see a doctor. When you go to the doctor’s office, you will need to take an e-card and photo ID for each member of your family that you are enrolling.
Visiting a doctor in Austria
You can easily make an appointment to see a doctor in Austria with a quick phone call to an individual clinic. However, it is important to note that some specialists may require a referral from your GP. You can also book an appointment online using the free service Doctena.
Although the standard of healthcare in Austria is high, waiting times can be long. In general, you can expect to wait up to four days to see a GP and several weeks to see a specialist. Once you arrive at your appointment, the wait time may vary. However, on average, you can expect to wait between 10 and 20 minutes.
What to expect when visiting a doctor in Austria
Make sure you bring your e-card (health insurance) card with you when you visit any doctor in Austria. You must also bring a photo ID. In the first instance, for non-emergency assistance, there is a simple healthcare phone number you can call – 1450. The hotline provides trained nursing staff to advise callers on their health concerns. The staff is also knowledgeable in recommending the right clinic or hospital to visit or, if necessary, which specialist to consult.
In addition, most cities and counties operate a service called the Ärztefunkdienst (Medical Radio Service). Significantly, this is where GPs make house calls for people who cannot make it to the clinic. The radio service is available from 19:00 to 07:00 during the week and all hours on weekends. You can access the service through emergency number – 141. As with most healthcare issues in Austria, costs for emergency situations are usually covered by health insurance.
Medical specialists in Austria
Austria is known for its highly-qualified medical professionals in all disciplines. Moreover, doctors in specialized fields abound throughout the country. As a result, a full spectrum of modern medicines is accessible and almost all diseases can be treated.
However, the waiting time can be weeks long. Consequently, appointments must usually be made in advance. For dentists, eye doctors and gynecologists, you can easily visit directly. For other specialties, you will need a referral from your GP. If you prefer not to get a referral from your GP, companies such as Austrian Health can help recommend suitable medical specialists for you.
Most physicians in Austria have their own medical practice, and may also work in a hospital. Generally speaking, all doctors have a contract with the state health insurance. Therefore, almost all residents of Austria are entitled to treatment without additional fees.
Cost of doctors in Austria
Simply put, the doctor’s fees will be covered by your insurance and taken directly from your wages. For this, you do not need to pay any medical expenses in advance. However, if you visit a private doctor without private insurance, the same will incur fees as mentioned below.
Health insurance in Austria
In essence, everyone in Austria has access to hospital treatment. Residents working in Austria are automatically issued an e-card (health insurance card). This gives you access to medical services without paying upfront. You can also purchase private healthcare insurance if you want to ensure a high level of comfort or prevent potential inconveniences. There are several private health insurance providers in Austria, all of which are regulated by the Financial Market Authority.
The leading groups are Allianz Care and Cigna Global. Both offer a range of plans to suit all people and situations. Generally, the older you are, the more you will pay. For example, a plan for children under 18 can cost around €30 per month. However, the same plan can cost as much as €450 to €500 per month for someone over 65. Additional factors include both gender and pre-existing conditions.
Private doctors in Austria
Austria’s public healthcare system is comprehensive and covers all healthcare needs. This includes treatment and medicines in public hospitals. It also includes basic dental services and some specialist consultations.
As a result, it is rare for Austrians to use private doctors given the high standard of care in public clinics. But, of course, you have the option of purchasing supplementary private insurance. Paying for a private doctor can reduce waiting times for patients. Your privacy and comfort level may also increase during your treatment.
That said, the publicly insured can also consult private doctors. They only need to pay the difference in the cost of the visit, which can be between €50 and €100, for a short visit to a private doctor. Those who already have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can use it in Austria.
Related: Best Hospitals in Austria 2022
Doctor’s prescriptions in Austria
In Austria, you can fill your prescription at any apotheke (pharmacy). Confusingly, drogeries (drug stores) only sell toiletries. Usually, there is a small fee of around €5 for the prescription and the rest is covered by insurance. However, you may need a prescription for some medications that are available over the counter in other countries. These include antibiotics and high-strength pain relievers.
Unlike many other countries, doctors in Austria are known for their reluctance to prescribe antibiotics. Therefore, you are unlikely to get a prescription for antibiotics unless it is absolutely necessary.
In general, most pharmacies are open from 9:00 to 17:00 during the week. Some will also open on Saturday mornings. Most major cities in Austria also have 24-hour pharmacies.
It is important to note that if you are bringing prescription drugs into Austria, you will need an explanation letter from your doctor. Asking your doctor to fill out this form will help. Also, be sure to keep the medicine in its original packaging. You should also check that your medicine is not banned in Austria. You are allowed to bring five days of supplies with you. However, you can also bring a ‘cross-border prescription’ from your doctor to fill up to thirty days in Austria.
Importantly, the Federal Ministry of Austria provides information about prohibited drugs in Austria as well as herbal treatments. Medical marijuana is legal in the country, however, doctors do not prescribe it. Additionally, CBD products are prohibited except in cases of children with epilepsy.
Medical tests in Austria
As part of preventive care in Austria, everyone over the age of 18 gets an optional annual check-up. These include a blood test, urine test, fecal occult blood test, body fat analysis, pulmonary function test, electrocardiogram (ECG), physical examination, blood pressure, hearing test including ear, nose and throat examination, gynecological examination and Pap smear. . Test for women, and cardiac stress test.
Health checks are carried out by your GP or at a day clinic run by the public health services. Check-up is over two dates; First for your blood and urine work and other tests below. Your doctor will discuss your results and any recommendations at another date. Then you can take all the results home with you.
Emergency doctors in Austria
In general, emergency response times throughout Austria are good. Paramedics mainly speak German. English is also widely spoken throughout the country.
Everyone in Austria is entitled to emergency medical care. This includes tourists and other visitors. You can get treatment whether you have insurance or not.
In the event of a medical emergency, you should call:
- 144 – Ambulance
- 141 – Emergency medical service
- 112 – European emergency number
Complaining about doctors in Austria
If you have an incident with a doctor, the Austrian Ombudsman Board (AOB) is your first port of call. Regardless of where you are from, your age, or whether you actually live in Austria, the AOB will handle any complaints. Then, they will review and evaluate the complaint and decide whether to investigate it further.
It is important to note that there is no cost for filing a complaint. The complaint should clearly identify the problem and the authority concerned with the complaint. The electronic complaint form clearly marks the required information.
AOB is also easy to reach by telephone on the free service number 0800/223 223 on weekdays from 8:00 to 16:00. In addition, you can email email@example.com.
AOB also holds counseling days and you must register in advance. It is important to note that the investigative proceedings are conducted in German.
Useful Austrian medical phrases
Since German is the official language of Austria, here are some basic German medical terms that may come in handy if you’re under the weather:
- Die Praxis – Doctor’s Office
- Der Termin – Appointment
- Ich habe Fieber – I have a fever
- Das Thermometer – Thermometer
- schmerz – pain
- Kopfschmerz means “headache,” Bauchschmerz means “stomachache,” and Ruckenschmerz means “backache.”
- der Schnupfen/die Erkältung – a cold
- die Verschreibung/das Rezept – the prescription
- das schleimlösende Mittel – decongestant
- Das Schmerzmittel – Painkiller