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Austria cares for YOU

Healthcare
5. October 2011

In a bid to tap into Austria‘s distinctive healthcare system and channelise its availablity to the Middle East, the UAE-based Austrian Trade Commission presented a detailed report on the GCC health care sector and Austria‘s contribution to the healthcare industry at a conference held in Vienna in 2009. In a five-part segment, various facets of this report which included the background research, observations, measures undertaken by the Austrian Trade Commission to make Austria’s healthcare system relevant in the GCC healthcare sector will be covered in the ATC newsletter

Austria is one of the most renowned medical destinations in Europe. Boasting of internationally acclaimed hospitals and clinics which feature top-of-the-range technology and first-rate facilities, Austria is also famed for its holistic wellness and medical clinics, natural mineral spas and rehabilitation centers. Based on the above facts, in 2009 the UAE-based Austrian Trade commission presented a full fledged report on the GCC health care sector and Austrian Trade Commission‘s contribution to the healthcare industry at a conference in Vienna. The Austrian Trade Commission will kick start the five part series by delving into the unique heathcare system of Austria.

The Austrian Trade Commissioner for the GCC, Dr Wolfgang Penzias gives an indepth insight into the impressive healthcare system of Austria. Says Dr Wolfgang Penzias,“Austrian doctors are very highly trained and their expertise is acknowledged in Europe and throughout the world. We are very known not only for our top-of-the-range technology and first-rate facilities, but also for our medical clinics, natural mineral spas and rehabilitation centers. As of 2011 the Joint Commission International (JCI) has accredited one hospital, one laboratory and two rehabilitation centers in Austria while the European Health Consumer Index ranked Austria as Europe‘s most consumer-friendly healthcare system in 2007, in the top three in 2008 and fourth in 2009.“
He goes on to add,“Austria is known for the efficiency and cleanliness of its services and the government invests highly in the healthcare system to keep it that way. Short waiting times, swift emergency procedures and drug development programs, high standard of research add to Austria‘s high standing in the medical community. Moroever, Austria is unmatched when it comes to orthopedic practice- knee surgery, hip surgery etc. Also, Austria boasts some of the highest cancer survival rates out of all European countries.“

On querying him about Austria‘ standing as medical tourist destination, Dr Penzias responds,“ Austria has been acknowledged as a destination for health tourism as early as 1970s. There are several medical travelers from Eastern Europe, US and Canada who visit Austria for health and wellness purposes. Currently even countries from the Middle East have been approaching us for our high quality medical care. This has motivated us to tap the GCC market.”

Trained to perfection
Austrian doctors are very highly trained and their expertise is acknowledged in Europe and throughout the world. There is a dual system of medical training in Austria. Students undergo a qualifying examination to take a six-year medicine degree at one of three public universities and one private university, including at one of the most prestigious training centers in the world, the Medical University of Vienna, which is over 640 years old. Obligatory practical training is integrated into the degree study. Doctors must then undergo practical training for three years to work as a general practitioner and at least six years to train in a medical specialty.

Did you know?
•Austria has 47.5 physicians per 10,000 people according to the World Health Organization, which is higher than the European average.
•Austria boasts 78.4 nurses and midwives per 10,000 people. At present (2011), Austria does not have any shortage of doctors.

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