PHIS Hospital Pharma Report, June 2009 - Austria. (PHIS - Pharmaceutical Health Information System)
(2009; 62 pages)


The hospital system in Austria is quite diverse and shaped by the following dimensions: type of hospital, type of care, legal status, financing and funding, ownership and responsible bodies and the hospital size. Each of the dimensions characterises the structure, organisation and processes within a hospital or specific hospital associations.

According to Austrian law (Federal Hospitals Act) hospitals (both curing and nursing institutions) are defined as institutions, which are dedicated to the determination and monitoring of the health status by medical examinations / diagnostics, to the realisation of surgical operations, to prevention, improvement and curing of diseases by treatments, to birth or medical measures for reproduction and to medical care / special nursing of chronically ill patients.

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 self-administrated public corporations. The Federal State is responsible for enacting basic principles and laws, 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 with 63,790 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 expenditure in hospitals amounted to € 10,949 Mio. 46% of the inpatient sector were financed by sickness funds, whereas 44% were covered by the Federal State, provincial and local governments. The remaining 10% were financed privately (private insurance institutions, private households). Since January 1997, medical care in hospitals has been financed on the basis of a fee-for 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).

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