In international comparison, Austria has a large number of doctors per capita, as well as slightly higher than the average number of medical graduates. This is demonstrated by the OECD study at first glance, presented on Thursday 2019. In contrast, Austria is relatively dissatisfied with nurses – and the country is clearly not very attractive to doctors from abroad.
Recently, the governor of Lower Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP), called for a significant increase in the number of places for medical research. Among other things, medical care in rural areas needs to be improved.
Obviously, Austria does not lack the total number of doctors but their distribution. On average, in the OECD comparison, 5.2 physicians operate per 1,000 population. It is second behind Greece (6.1) and well above the OECD average of 3.5 – with the OECD even calling the number for Greece "overrated", because the country's data is not only experts but all licensed doctors. Neighboring countries Switzerland and Germany have an average of 4.3 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants.
The President of the Medical Chamber, Thomas Szekeres, relativized OECD data on high medical density in Austria. In Germany, a third are only partially employed, he told APA. In addition, doctors would be added to the training, which is not the case in other countries. In any case, there is a distribution problem in Austria: "Boys do not want to go to the village".
Szekeres cited statistics from the Austrian Medical Association (ÖÄK), which at the end of 2018, 46,337 doctors across the country had identified. If that translates into full-time equivalents, the House comes in at just 39,110. If you then release the reversal doctors (8,085, full-time equivalent of 7382), you will find yourself in the OECD liaison, then the president.
In addition, not only is employment on the ground unattractive, but four out of ten medical graduates have not stayed in Austria. Simply increasing the number of study sites is not the right solution here, contradicted Szekeres by the governor of Lower Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP).
For graduates, things look a little different: in Germany, an average of 14.4 people per 100,000 inhabitants complete a medical degree each year. While still above the OECD average (13.1), it is behind leading countries such as Ireland (24.9) or Denmark (21.5). In comparison, German and Swiss German-speaking countries have fewer graduates than Austria (12.0 and 11.2, respectively).
However, jobs there are obviously much more attractive to foreign doctors than in Austria: according to the OECD, in Switzerland, 34 percent of doctors have trained abroad. In Germany, the corresponding percentage is 12 percent, in Austria only 6 percent (OECD average: 18 percent).
Despite this, the number of practicing physicians has increased more strongly in Austria since 2000 (plus 48 percent) than in Germany (plus 32 percent) and the OECD average (plus 42 percent). Just below the OECD average, there is a proportion of doctors in Austria who will retire in the medium term: in Germany, 30 percent of doctors are over 55 years of age. This share in the OECD is 34 percent. It is particularly high in Italy (55 percent) as well as in Germany, France, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia and Israel with values higher than 45 percent.
Compared to the OECD, Austria is underestimated by nursing staff: 34.5 nurses per 100,000 population in Germany are trained here annually. This is lower than the OECD average (43.6) and significantly lower than in Germany (54.5) and OECD leaders in Switzerland (100.9).
The country is also better equipped with hospital beds, namely 7.4 per thousand inhabitants (OECD: 4.7). In terms of hospital discharges, Austria is the second largest Germany with 249 per thousand, compared with 154 in the OECD.
With per capita spending of $ 5,395 ($ 4,864.74), the domestic health sector ranks sixth ($ 10,586, OECD: 3,994). The share of GDP is 10.3 percent (US: 16.9, OECD: 8.8).