Austria is one of the most renowned medical tourism destinations in Europe with some of the most distinguished hospitals, specialising in knee surgery, cancer treatments and more. Austria boasts internationally acclaimed clinics which feature top-of-the-range technology and first-rate facilities. The country is also famed for its holistic treatments, natural mineral spas and rehabilitation centres.
The Healthcare System in Austria
Before booking a treatment in Austria, it would be good to have some understanding of the system that’s currently in place for international medical tourism and the training your doctor will have gone through. Building knowledge before you book is a great way to develop confidence and squash nerves.
Austria’s system for accrediting and monitoring standards is called the Austrian Federal Hospitals Act. It has supervised every clinic and hospital in the country since 1993. Under this guidance, Austrian healthcare providers are rigorously trained so their place of employment does not risk their accreditation by employing poorly trained staff.
While not mandatory, another qualification to look out for is the medical school your provider has graduated from. One of the most esteemed medical schools is located in the capital city, the Medical University of Vienna, where an average medical degree takes six years to complete and has a 71% graduation rate. This university has been producing high-quality medical professionals for over 640 years, with notable alumni such as Gerda Egger, the deputy director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Applied Diagnostics.
Austria has fantastic doctors and nurses to patient ratios, with 4.9 doctors and 7.8 nurses per 1,000 people it scores well above the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ) average. You can feel confident that your needs will be met if you’re having overnight stays as part of your treatment schedule while in the country.
The most popular treatments in Austria
The most popular treatments patients travel to Austria for are Oncology or Orthopaedic treatments as you can find some of the best technology and success rates for reasonable prices all across the country. This is partly due to the top-rated medical schools and the state-of-the-art technology their hospitals use.
Because of the individualistic approach, the survival rate is higher than in other European countries (83% survival for breast cancer, 90% for prostate cancer).
Clinics such as Vienna Central Clinical Hospital are attached to Vienna’s famous medical school which provides life-saving experimental treatment are developed right on-site and immediately used when certified.
Attending a hospital that is joint with a university is a preference to many due to some treatments provided that are not usually found in other places but could offer a higher chance of survival.
During an interview with Matthias Preusser, Head of the Division of Oncology and member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) of MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital he noted that “we (Austria) have excellent access to the latest diagnostic techniques and drugs, since these are rapidly made available to patients. We are what is known as 'early adopters'.”
The most popular and researched orthopaedic procedure in Austria was joint replacements and similarly, with Oncology, there’s a considerable reason why.
“AMIS” and “MyKnee” surgeries, unique minimally invasive joint replacement surgeries, are performed in certain hospitals in Austria.
A Direct Anterior Approach (AMIS®) is a method of inserting the artificial joint through the front (ie. anterior) without cutting any muscles or damaging nerves. All other common approaches (ie. lateral and posterior) involve cutting muscles or tendons. Other approaches permanently damage either muscle fibres and/or the nerves which supply them so there may be a permanent loss of nerve function and/or partial muscle wasting.1
The “MyKnee” method only requires 3 surgical steps, fit, pin and cut which saves more than 20 steps a standard knee replacement surgery could have. Having a smaller number of surgical steps may reduce the overall surgical time, potentially adding one extra case per surgery session.2
Where to stay and what to do in Austria
Being able to relax after any procedure, no matter how minor or major, is vital for your recovery. Most clinics will give you recommendations on where to stay that’s close by for an easy commute to any check-ups you need.
Austria has a great hospitality infrastructure, ranging from luxury 5* hotels with views of mountains to more budget-friendly stays in the city centre and close to the main hospitals.
Want to tour the country after or during your recovery, there are great private rentals that will show you idyllic accommodation all over the country.
During your downtime, there is an overwhelming list of things to do, so much so that you’ll struggle to see everything and might even need a second trip! You could even choose to recover from your procedures in style in one of the many natural thermal spas in the Alpine peaks.
With the old palaces of the Hofburg and Schönbrunn, the colossal art collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, countless local dishes to try and the Hohensalzburg fortress you’ll never be bored.
Should you go for medical treatments in Vienna?
In summary, yes!
The Austrian health care system has high levels of patient satisfaction, patient safety practices and putting patients first. 95% of patients reported being satisfied with inpatient care received at hospitals or inpatient facilities where 98% were satisfied with independently practising physicians3
Patient safety and patient care are so thoroughly cared about that there are frequent studies and awards based solely around this. "…It is important to us to research new process pathways to improve patient safety in the context of a complex hospital operation," explains Klaus Markstaller, Head of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital4.
After our launch date in November, we can’t wait to help you discover the clinics located in Austria so you can get the treatment you need when you want it hassle-free.