Austria: health system review
AbstractThis analysis of the Austrian health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. Two major reforms implemented in 2013 and 2017 are among the main issues today. The central aim of the reforms that put in place a new governance system was to strengthen coordination and cooperation between different levels of government and self-governing bodies by promoting joint planning, decision-making and financing. Yet despite these efforts, the Austrian health system remains complex and fragmented in its organizational and financial structure. The Austrian population has a good level of health. Life expectancy at birth is above the EU average and low amenable mortality rates indicate that health care is more effective than in most EU countries. Yet, the number of people dying from cardiovascular diseases and cancer is high compared to the EU-28 average. Tobacco and alcohol represent the major health risk factors. Tobacco consumption has not declined over the last decade like in most other EU countries and lies well above the EU-28 average. In terms of performance, the Austrian health system provides good access to health care services. Austria’s residents report the lowest levels of unmet needs for medical care across the EU. Virtually all the population is covered by social health insurances and enjoys a broad benefit basket. Yet, rising imbalances between the numbers of contracted and non-contracted physicians may contribute to social and regional inequalities in accessing care. The Austrian health system is relatively costly. It has a strong focus on inpatient care as characterized by high hospital utilization and imbalances in resource allocation between the hospital and ambulatory care sector. The ongoing reforms therefore aim to bring down publicly financed health expenditure growth with a global budget cap and reduce overutilization of hospital care. Efficiency of inpatient care has improved over the reform period but the fragmented financing between the inpatient and ambulatory sector remain a challenge. Current reforms to strengthen primary health care are an important step to further shift activities out of the large and costly hospital sector and improve skill mix within the health workforce.
Bachner, F; Bobek, J; Habimana, K; Ladurner, J; Leuschutz, L; Ostermann, H; Rainer, L; Schmidt, A; Zuba, M; Quentin, W and Winkelmann, J, World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe & European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. (2018). Austria: health system review. World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/330188
Health Systems in Transition; vol. 20, n. 3
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Health care systems in transition : Austria / by Maria M. Hofmarcher, Herta Rack and Juergen Schwaerzler Hofmarcher, Maria M; Rack, Herta; Schwaerzler, Juergen; World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe; European Observatory on Health Care Systems (Copenhagen : WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2001)
Health care systems in transition : Austria 2006 / by Maria M Hofmarcher , Herta M. Rack and Annette Riesberg Hofmarcher, Maria M; Rack, Herta; Riesberg, Annette; World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe; European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (Copenhagen : WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2006)
Hofmarcher, M; European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe, 2013)This analysis of the Austrian health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health-care provision, health reforms and health-system performance. The Austrian health system ...