While in May 2019 77 percent were “very satisfied” or “rather satisfied”, this is now only 68 percent. In 2019, 21 percent were dissatisfied (“very” or “rather”), in April 2023 it was already 31 percent, according to a survey by the Demox Institute on behalf of the Austrian Health Forum (AHF).
The study results were presented in the run-up to the AHF (motto: “Reform or Revolution”), which is taking place this week from Thursday to Saturday in Schladming – and will then be discussed there. 1,000 people aged 16 and over were surveyed (online).
59 percent of those surveyed stated that the health system in Austria had deteriorated. The reasons given for this are the increasing shortage of doctors (42 percent), followed by waiting times for treatment (34 percent) as well as the “nursing shortage” (23 percent) and “two-tier medicine” (22 percent). Only four percent saw the lack of availability of medicines as a reason for dissatisfaction, three percent named “inadequate corona crisis management”.
Difficulties are also perceived “to get an appointment with the appropriate office for health concerns”: Only 39 percent find it easy to get this appointment, 36 percent difficult. Among those dissatisfied with the healthcare system, as many as 66 percent identify difficulties in this regard. 27 percent have already used personal relationships to get appointments.
General practitioners as the first point of contact
According to the survey, 25 percent have supplementary insurance. Another twelve percent intend to take out supplementary insurance. 46 percent visited an elective doctor in the last six months. The great importance of family doctors can be seen from the fact that they are the first point of contact for 72 percent of those surveyed (for “unspecified medical problems, a question about health or that of a relative”). Another nine percent go directly to specialists, two percent each to outpatient clinics and primary care units (PVE). Eleven percent consult “the Internet”.