This is provided for in a new overall contract that social security agreed with the Austrian midwives committee and which the conference of social security institutions approved on Monday. The new general contract for midwives will come into force on January 1, 2023.
For the first time, modernizations such as telephone consultations and telemedical care under special circumstances, for example due to a pandemic or the impossibility of personal care, are included in the overall contract. Also new is the inclusion of the service of midwifery assistance before the birth from the 32nd week of pregnancy in the case of a planned inpatient hospital delivery, the umbrella organization of social insurance carriers announced.
The possibility that midwives can now also share posts brings more flexibility, and they can also hire other midwives to relieve them. Furthermore, the tariffs for home visits and ordinations were increased retrospectively from January 1, 2022 and further annual increases until 2025 were fixed. Automatic valorisation has been agreed for all tariffs starting in 2025.
The chairman of the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (ÖGK), Andreas Huss, announced that after the conclusion of the general agreement, 266 positions at 40 hours per week for midwives will be advertised throughout Austria. The new position plan results in a significant expansion of the provision of benefits in kind throughout Austria. “This is a milestone in care,” said Huss enthusiastically in a broadcast.
The President of the Midwives Committee, Gerlinde Feichtlbauer, was also convinced that the new general agreement would mean that there would be more midwives with health insurance contracts. She named higher health insurance tariffs, modern part-time solutions and the focus on aftercare as the cornerstones of the new health insurance contracts, which would make them “a lot more attractive” than before. “The new health insurance tariffs bring the remuneration of freelance midwives closer to the midwives’ salaries in the hospital. There are now also modern part-time solutions for health insurance midwives, so that more colleagues have the opportunity to work with a health insurance contract,” Feichtlbauer is also satisfied.