The hospital system in Austria is quite diverse and shaped by the following
of hospital, type of care, legal status, financing and funding, ownership and
bodies and the hospital size. Each of the dimensions characterises the
and processes within a hospital or specific hospital associations.
According to Austrian law (Federal Hospitals Act) hospitals (both curing and
are defined as institutions, which are dedicated to the determination and
the health status by medical examinations / diagnostics, to the realisation of
to prevention, improvement and curing of diseases by treatments, to birth or
measures for reproduction and to medical care / special nursing of chronically
The responsibilities in the inpatient sector are split between several players
in the Austrian
health system: Federal Ministry of Health, various other Ministries at the
Federal State level,
provinces (Länder) and municipalities, and the sickness funds as
corporations. The Federal State is responsible for enacting basic principles and
whereas the legislation on implementation and the execution and enforcement
thereof is the
responsibility of the provincial governments. Hospitals are predominantly
operated by the
provinces, which are the main owners of Austrian hospitals.
In 2008, inpatient care for the Austrian population is provided by 266 hospitals
available beds. Thereof 162 hospitals (61%) are public and 104 are private.
The Austrian hospitals are funded by a variety of bodies. In 2007 total health
hospitals amounted to € 10,949 Mio. 46% of the inpatient sector were financed by
funds, whereas 44% were covered by the Federal State, provincial and local
The remaining 10% were financed privately (private insurance institutions,
Since January 1997, medical care in hospitals has been financed on the basis of
service and diagnosis related group (DRG) system. Of the 266 hospitals in
Austria in 2008,
131 (49%) are so-called “fund hospitals”, which are eligible to receive public
funds out of the
provincial health funds (Landesgesundheitsfonds).