Austria’s Health System Overview
Health System Rankings
Health System Outcomes
Health System Coverage
Health System Costs for Consumers
Health System Expenditures
Austria’s COVID-19 National Policy
Health System Financing
Health System Physical Resources and Utilization
Health Information and Communications Technologies
Density of medical doctors (per 10,000 population) (2012-2020): 52.9
Density of nursing and midwifery personnel (per 10,000 population) (2012-2020): 105.6
Density of dentists (per 10,000 population) (2012-2020): 5.7
Density of pharmacists (per 10,000 population) (2012-2020): 7.2
Source: World health statistics 2022: monitoring health for the SDGs, sustainable development
goals. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
Remuneration of Doctors, Ratio to Average Wage (2019)
General Practitioners: 3.0
Source: OECD (2021), Health at a Glance 2021: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/ae3016b9-en.
“Austria had the second highest number of doctors in the EU in 2019, with 5.3 physicians per 1,000 population compared to the EU average of 3.9 (Figure 9). This ratio has increased since 2000, when it stood at 3.9. However, the proportion of general practitioners (GPs) has declined continually over the same period, and is now one of the lowest in the EU (14 % of all physicians compared to 21 % in the EU in 2019). Furthermore, the physician workforce is ageing: the average age of GPs was 50 and that of specialists was 52 in 2019 (ÖGK, 2021). About 60 % of contracted GPs are expected to reach retirement age by 2025 (BMASGK, 2019). One of the main priorities of the Austrian Recovery and Resilience Plan is to make primary care more attractive in order to build more primary care centres (see Section 5.3).
“The number of nurses per 1,000 population is also above the EU average (10.4 in Austria compared to 8.4 per 1,000 population in the EU in 2019).”
Source: OECD/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (2021), Austria: Country Health Profile 2021, State of Health in the EU, OECD Publishing, Paris/European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, Brussels.
“Austria has the second highest density of practising physicians (510 per 100 000) in the EU after Greece – much higher than on average in EU countries (350 per 100 000) and has a tradition of being a net exporter of doctors. However, also inside Austria, the density of physicians has grown more strongly since 2000 (by 34%) than on average in the EU (14%), mostly driven by a growth of specialist physicians. However, the number of ambulatory physicians who contract with SHI has stagnated over recent years. This has lead to a rising imbalance and unequal distribution of doctors across regions, which is likely to be exacerbated by the ageing of contracted doctors. In contrast to physicians, Austria has relatively low numbers of nurses, although international comparisons of nursing staff are difficult because of limited data availability in Austria. A new mandatory health professional’s registry implemented in 2018 will allow better comparability in the coming years.”
Source: Bachner F, Bobek J, Habimana K, Ladurner J, Lepuschütz L, Ostermann H, Rainer L, Schmidt A E, Zuba M, Quentin W, Winkelmann J. Austria: Health system review. Health Systems in Transition, 2018; 20(3): 1 – 256.
“With 5.2 physician per 1,000 inhabitants Austria has among the highest physician density in OECD countries (OECD average 2.6). Overall, the country has 271 hospitals with a total of 45,596 physicians (data from 2017), about 54% of which work (also or primarily) in hospitals. The rate of physicians working in the outpatient setting (both those contracted and not contracted by the social health insurance) is 2.4 per 1,000 inhabitants. The number of physicians not contracted by the social health insurance has increased in recent years in ambulatory care (some of which also work in hospitals). Although Austria has the second highest physician rate in the EU, a large share of physicians is close to retirement age (55 years and older), and may thus be at a higher risk of developing severe conditions in case of infection with COVID-19.
“The number of nurses in Austria has been subject to debate in recent years with regard to definitions of qualifications and their interpretation in cross-country comparisons. A new mandatory health professional’s registry was set up in 2018. However, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, compulsory registration has been suspended. This implies that professional activities in long-term care are also possible without registration until the end of the pandemic (transition after the pandemic is still to be defined). The objective of this measure has been to allow retired professionals or professionals with formal training but working in another sector to start working in long-term care during the pandemic. Also, persons without formal training as care professionals may be asked to carry out supporting activities defined in the second COVID-19 Act.”
Source: COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor. A project of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, the European Commission, and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. Last accessed May 20, 2021.
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Page last updated Nov. 11, 2022 by Doug McVay, Editor.