Primary Health Care in Austria – Quo Vadis?
DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2020.0467-0471german translation / full article
Summary The realignment and strengthening of primary care has been a central health policy challenge in Austria for years, especially since a significant need for improvement and action was identified in a European comparison. This article focuses on the past and current development of the primary care system at the national level and aims to highlight the relevance and timeliness of this topic against the backdrop of the current COVID-19 pandemic. After a brief introduction to primary care at the international level, the national situation and previous health policy measures to realign and strengthen primary care in Austria are discussed in more detail. Then, the greatest challenges in implementing the reform – particularly with regard to the planned expansion of primary care units – are pointed out. Based on this, the future need for action to optimize the reform process and push the primary care landscape in Austria is shown. The following is a brief discussion of the key findings and an outlook into the future. The article includes the results of a current study by the Danube University Krems on primary care units in Austria.Keywordsprimary health care; healthcare reform; need for action; Austria