On Wednesday, there was once again a discussion about the situation in hospitals in Vienna’s city hall. The Greens called a special meeting of the local council for this purpose. Workload, staff shortages, and wait times for operations as planned were discussed; but only this was not discussed. Coverage was certainly expanded, and federal healthcare reform was also an issue.
Greens health spokeswoman Barbara Huemer glanced at the clock at the beginning of the debate. She warned that in hospitals the time is twelve-thirty, not twelve-five. They need help urgently, given the new wave of Covid and flu. “The city government is pushing the problem away,” she complained. The Greens saw themselves as spokespeople for both patients and staff.
Huemer was convinced that the latter would deserve better conditions. The pressure and workload are high. “There’s really a lot of stress in hospitals.” More staff and more time will be required. The recently introduced benefits package is just a placebo, as working conditions remain poor.
Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) praised the healthcare reform. This also presents an opportunity for Vienna, Huemer assured. For example, primary health centers could be built faster in the future. Vienna also requires more nursing staff, pilot projects to reduce working hours and an interdisciplinary long Covid outpatient clinic.
FPÖ health spokesman Wolfgang Seidl assured that the Freedom Party could sign the Greens’ inventory, and then asked: “Why are you only thinking about this now?” The Greens were part of the city government for a decade. They “approved” everything there. Seidl evaluated the allowance package as “not that bad”. However, he stated that there are still problems. For example, he criticized that 700 beds in WIGEV buildings are currently closed.
Stefan Gara, local councilor for NEOS, touched on the interface between hospitals and private practice. The decline in statutory health insurance is leading to more and more people going to hospital. “This creates an extreme stressor.” An important precaution to be taken against this is the primary care clinics established at the entrances of hospitals in Vienna. Gara described the “drift” of doctors into the field of elective medicine as a problem. He believed that this would only change if health insurance companies’ service catalogs were improved. He sees responsibility for this at the federal level.
ÖVP health spokeswoman Ingrid Korosec also called for the simplification of “structures and financial flows”. He predicted that as long as the areas of hospitals and general practitioners are separated in this way, grievances will occur. There is an urgent need for financing from a single source. Reforms are also needed in WİGEV. Just “buying a band-aid” is no longer enough.
The ÖVP has presented a proposal for the further development and digitalization of health advice 1450, including, among other things, the possibility of making an appointment. It was also requested that future primary care units and concessional loans in urban development areas be taken into account when establishing PVE. The proposal was accepted unanimously, including the government parties.
According to health spokeswoman Claudia Laschan, the SPÖ may also get used to the federal government’s plans in Vienna. He said the 550 million euros of fresh money allocated for health in Austria was “a bit much” but was “at least a first step”. According to the SPÖ politician, it is positive that areas such as pain management or mental health services are moved to polyclinics.
But he also criticized a player not represented in the local council: the medical association. This has already sparked protests and plans for a rally next Monday. According to Laschan, Oda’s slogans such as “Without us, Vienna will die” are “incredibly profound”. He complained that the chamber had “wasted” 10 million euros on his campaigns. This is why the medical fraternity disturbs patients. The Chamber was also against primary health centres. Laschan spoke in favor of restricting the “lobby organisation’s” right to speak.