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Destination Spotlight

Austria ~ The Turntable for Leading Medical Competence

Destination Spotlight

Austria not only is the heart of Europe from a geopolitical point of view, it is also a renowned medical competence center within Europe. The so-called “first and second Viennese medical school” have become keywords with an impact reaching far beyond Austria’s borders.

Austrian doctors enjoy an internationally renowned reputation. The level of education and expertise of the doctors and medical staff in Austria is very high and their extra ordinary performance has become a daily routine for them. As a result their expertise and capabilities are frequently sought after on a world-wide scale.

A major source of expertise is the Medical University of Vienna – Austria’s largest medical training center. With its long history and tradition, which began 640 years ago, it has developed into a highly modern research institution that covers an area of 40,000 m². The Medical University of Vienna relies on the “triple track” strategy. Research, education and patient care represent the three cornerstones of the university’s system.

This enables medical science to respond flexibly to the continually changing demands of the state and society. In the process, maintenance of health as well as therapy, abatement of symptoms and prevention of diseases stand in the foreground. Each year 95,000 patients are treated as inpatients in 31 university clinics, 45,000 operations are conducted and 500,000 outpatients receive initial treatment in the day-clinics.

The leading edge of the Austrian healthcare system is frequently acknowledged by publications of independent and highly renowned institutes such as the European Health Consumer Index and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, to name a few. Let’s take the European Health Consumer Index as an example. Austria scored first in 2007 and was in the top three 2008. In other words the European Health Consumer Index (EHCI) ranked the Austrian healthcare system as the most consumer friendly healthcare system in Europe.

It is worth mentioning that the EHCI also pointed out that Austria is way ahead of countries such as Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg to name a few, where more financial support is allocated into the system. Austria’s healthcare system is not only top, it is also very efficient. To safeguard this high level of quality is one of the key priorities of the Austrian government.

Social responsibility and to assure highest level of security are as much priorities as to assure top quality treatments and aftercare. Significant efforts in quality management, accreditations and national and international benchmarking are employed to maintain and even further improve quality of care in Austria.

Exceptionally short waiting time for doctor consultations, exceptionally short waiting lists for surgeries, direct access to doctors and the outstanding medical results have pushed Austria into the top position. The chances to survive the highest morbidity statistics of the modern world, such as heart attacks and cancer are extremely high in Austria. For example the chance to survive a heart attack in Austria is as high as 92%.

Furthermore, Vienna clinics and hospitals hold the world record in the shortest average lead time from the diagnosis of a severe heart attack until the onset of lifesaving countermeasures. More than 60% of cancer patients are still alive after five years. New medications are readily available in Austria, quite often already before the launch of these medications in other countries.

Being a winter sport country our doctors have become leading experts in treating sports injuries and all kind of orthopedic issues, including heap or knee replacements. Austria is leading in employing state of the art technology.

For instance in Austria we have 26.7 Computer Tomography units per 100,000 capita, compared to Germany 13.3, Switzerland 17.6 and USA 12.8 per 100,000 capita. Together with USA, Austria performs the most heart and lung transplants among the OECD countries and is third worldwide in liver transplantations.

In Austria medical expertise doesn’t stop after an intensive care intervention but is also of enormous value during the recovery phase. In specialized rehab-centers, teams of medical experts and other specialists support the patient’s convalescence in the most effective way. Austria’s rehab centers offer personalized therapies managed by a team of therapists supported by leading edge technology.

Apart from the remarkable quality of Austria’s acute and intensive care, there is also a long and successful tradition in preventive medicine. Preventive check-up, wellness, anti-stress and fitness-programs are designed to identify possible risks well before severe illnesses develop, to improve the general condition, to prevent burnout and to ensure a long, healthy, productive and enjoyable life.

Also in the field of women health Austria enjoys a leadership position. A broad range of medical programs taking into consideration the specific nature of women are available. Also in the field of gynecology and reproductive medicine Austria has quite an international standing. Both in hormone treatment as well as cancer treatment Austrian medicine has an excellent reputation.

Intensive research and a compared to other European countries quite liberal law ensure that Austrian IVF clinics are able to achieve superior success rates.  Medical excellence combined with the friendly and tranquil atmosphere of Austrian clinics make Austria a favorite place for very prominent women from all over the world for giving birth to their babies. Excellent beauty clinics embedded in gorgeous wellness resorts offer the whole range of plastic aesthetic surgery and cosmetic treatments in a memorably relaxing environment.

On top of state of the art technology and the highest level of professionalism of the medical staff, Austrian private hospitals are well known for their respectful attitude towards their patients. The needs and wishes of their “medical guests” are always taken very seriously. The human being always remains in the focus. Personalized medicine is not only a slogan.

The patient is advised, treated and cured in a typical charming and open hearted Austrian way. The set-up and atmosphere are more like that of luxury hotels rather than hospitals. In comfortable and spacey rooms and suites, equipped with state of the art interior, quite often located in historical palace-like buildings, surrounded by generous and astonishing parks, or situated in the most charming parts of the country patients will feel at home. Different habits of different cultures are taken into consideration throughout the entire infrastructure.

As a result, the medical destination Austria fully meets and in many cases exceeds the demands and expectations of patients from abroad. It combines state of the art medical treatments, based on the long lasting tradition of the Viennese Medical School, highly qualified aftercare adapted to every individual patient and highest level of comfort.

Austria is the place where hospitals and the surrounding convey feelings of being at home resulting in wellbeing for body and soul. In Austria world-class medicine has become state of the art and is available for everybody at an attractive cost/performance ratio.

Furthermore breathtaking landscape, clean and untouched nature, charming cities with centuries of history, comfortable climate conditions and highest level of security make Austria one of the most attractive destinations in the world.

It’s no wonder that even leaders of foreign countries and high ranking members of royal families from around the world regularly come to Austria in order to utilize top quality Austrian medicine.

Horst Bruggraber, MEng., MBA is Managing Partner of Holistic Business Excellence GmbH and Senior Consultant of Premium Health Solutions – Austria. Until January 2009, he was the CEO of Premium Health Solutions – Austria, the leading healthcare facilitator and full-service incoming agency for health travel to Austria. Horst has been in the international healthcare business for more than ten years. He graduated as a biomedical engineer and holds an International Executive MBA.

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