A total of 40 medical officers were working in Upper Austria as of June 1st. This corresponds to three unfilled full-time positions, including a medical officer missing in the district administrations of Linz-Land and Urfahr-Environment. Finding new staff is extremely difficult. In addition, there is an impending wave of retirements: 29 of the currently working medical officers are older than 55 years. In order to make the profession more attractive, the country significantly increased salaries in March. Since then, new entrants have been given at least 7,000 euros gross at the district authorities or 6,500 euros gross in the state health department (instead of 5,100 euros).
It is one of several measures: Among other things, the nationwide project “ÖGD new” is intended to put the public health service on a new footing. It is not yet possible to estimate whether the steps taken are effective. This was announced by the State Audit Office (LRH), which published a 25-page audit report yesterday. The suggestions for improvement essentially focus on three points: The deregulation measures that affect state law must be implemented quickly. “It is in our interest to make things easier,” says LRH director Rudolf Hoscher. Secondly, the effects of new laws and regulations should first be discussed with the affected professional groups. Thirdly, it is strongly recommended to implement the projects developed at the state and federal level and to evaluate their impact.
“The current situation is precarious. All the measures that medical officers bring and receive are positive,” says Hoscher. Appropriate monitoring is important. This makes it possible to react quickly if individual steps do not bring the desired success
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