Hospitals in Austria
Learn how to navigate the hospital system in Austria and ensure you and your family receive the best medical care with this helpful guide.
Fortunately for expats, Austria has one of the best healthcare systems in Europe. In fact, it was ranked ninth in Europe in the Euro Health Consumer Index in 2018. This is largely due to the fact that Austrian hospitals offer universal coverage, making them an ideal place to seek treatment. Notably, the country has an integrated system with high-quality care and access to top physicians. Plus, with a wide variety of specialists and mental health professionals, you know you’re in safe hands when seeking care.
To help you navigate the hospital system and ensure you receive the best care, this guide provides the following information:
- Hospitals in Austria
- How to get hospital treatment in Austria
- Emergency treatment in Austria
- Hospital stays in Austria: what to expect
- Hospital costs in Austria
- Being discharged from hospitals in Austria
- Visiting someone in hospital in Austria
- Best Hospitals in Austria
- List of hospitals in Austria
- Useful resources
Hospitals in Austria
Austria operates a two-tier healthcare system which means that all individuals receive publicly funded care. However, they also have the option of purchasing supplementary private health insurance. The healthcare system provides free access to basic healthcare to all its citizens and residents. Notably, Austria also serves tourists with free basic healthcare, including temporary visitors to the country.
Basic healthcare includes treatment in public hospitals, basic dental services, medicine and some specialist consultations. Importantly, holders of the European Health Insurance Card (EIHC) can use it in Austria.
Austria’s healthcare system is quite complex. For example, it includes cross-stakeholder structures at the federal, Länder (provincial) and local government levels. As far as hospitals are concerned, it is up to the nine provincial governments to pass and enforce the laws.
How to get hospital treatment in Austria
Fortunately, everyone in Austria has access to hospital treatment. If you are a working resident of the country, you will automatically be issued an e-card (health insurance card). If you need to go to the hospital, it is important to remember to take your e-card with you. This enables you to access medical services without paying upfront.
Emergency treatment in Austria
Under the complex structure of Austria’s healthcare system, each local authority provides emergency care. Consequently, there are some differences between different states within the country. Despite this, response times throughout Hospitals in Austria are very good.
Additionally, hospital staff throughout the country will generally speak good English. However, paramedics mainly speak German.
Everyone in Austria is entitled to emergency medical care. Additionally, this includes tourists and other visitors. Therefore, as a traveler or foreigner, it is important to note the following numbers in case of a medical emergency:
- 144 – Ambulance
- 141 – Emergency medical service
- 112 – European emergency number
Hospital stays in Austria: what to expect
It is important to note that due to the high standard of care provided to everyone Hospitals in Austria, you may have to wait longer if you are restricted to public healthcare only. As a result, you may need to share a hospital room with up to nine other patients.
With this in mind, you may be tempted to take out private health insurance. There are several private health insurance providers Hospitals 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 years of age. Additional factors include both gender and pre-existing conditions.
Generally speaking, your insurance company should cover the cost of time in a special ward. In most cases, for example, a private health insurance company will pay the hospital directly. Generally, private insurance covers admission to small wards in private hospitals and easy access to alternative doctors. That said, it is standard in Austrian hospitals, both public and private, to have access to modern facilities and state-of-the-art technology.
Hospital costs in Austria
If you are employed in Austria, you are eligible for all basic hospital care in the country. Indeed, as an expat living Hospitals in Austria, it is important to understand the relationship between employment and healthcare coverage; For both you and your family.
Health insurance for hospital expenses in Austria
In Austria, public health care registration and health insurance are automatic and linked to employment. This is because employers enroll the employee and the government deducts the health insurance tax directly from the individual’s salary. Those who are self-employed can also register themselves.
Health insurance for spouses and dependents is also guaranteed. It is also provided to students, pensioners, the disabled and those on unemployment benefits. Co-insurance is also non-contributory for children, as well as for persons caring for children; For example, a non-working partner. Additionally, public insurance costs are dependent on income. As a result, they are not related to a person’s medical history.
For outpatient visits, you can expect to pay between 10 and 20% of the overall cost. However, there is a cap on self-employed workers which limits the charges to 5% of their net annual income. For medical aids such as wheelchairs, coverage is usually up to €1,328.
Generally, health insurance companies settle the cost of treatment directly, but there are certain treatments that may require additional costs. However, if in doubt, it is best to check with your doctor.
You can supplement your public insurance with ‘special class’ private health insurance. In addition to giving you privacy in the hospital room, this will give you access to private bathrooms, internet and other benefits.
Being discharged from hospitals in Austria
Your discharge time will vary between hospitals and regions. That said, generally speaking, it will be determined in discussion with your attending physician.
After ward visits, the doctor can discharge you on any day of the week, including Sundays and public holidays. After discharge from the hospital, you should receive your medical report within one to two weeks. It may also include appointments for follow-up examinations.
Visiting someone in hospital in Austria
Due to the current situation related to COVID-19, the visiting hours of public hospitals in Austria have changed. For instance, at the time of writing, they are restricted between 15:00 and 18:00. Accordingly, the last entry is 17:30.
In general, public hospitals such as the Vienna General Hospital (AKH) allow only one visitor per patient per day. However, all visitors must complete a visitor data sheet and register in advance at the station.
Importantly, visits by people with suspected symptoms of Covid-19 are not permitted. In addition, a declaration of your health status must now be completed on admission. Generally, both public and private hospitals offer flexible visiting hours.
Best Hospitals in Austria
You can use Bookimed to find the best hospitals in Austria. This free global platform provides hospital ratings based on real patient reviews. According to the platform, the top three hospitals in Austria are:
Wiener Private Clinic
- Located in Vienna
- This is a private hospital located near the University Hospital
- The hospital is known for its state-of-the-art equipment. It is also home to the first private radiation therapy center Hospitals in Austria.
Vienna General Hospital (AKH)
- Located in Vienna
- One of the most innovative clinics in Europe
- Founded 300 years ago
- Consisting of over 42 university hospitals and institutes, 6 own laboratories and 10,000 employees
- High standards and innovative technologies in all areas of medicine
- Considered as “a city within a city”, AKH has specialized medical centers, shops, restaurants and banks.
Doubling Private Clinic
- Located in Vienna
- As the name suggests, this is a private hospital
- Included in the list of Globe’s Best Hospitals by Forbes
- The clinic has ISO certificates and the Austrian Mark of Quality in Health Travel; This ensures the quality and safety of the treatment.