Child Health Care Services in Austria

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Abstract

We describe child health care in Austria, a small country in Central Europe with a population of about 9 million inhabitants of whom approximately 1.7 million are children and adolescents under the age of 20 years. For children and adolescents, few health care indicators are available. Pediatric and adolescent health provision, such as overall health provision, follows a complex system with responsibilities shared by the Ministry of Health, 19 social insurance funds, provinces, and other key players. Several institutions are affiliated with or cooperate with the Ministry of Health to assure quality control. The Austrian public health care system is financed through a combination of income-based social insurance payments and taxes. Pediatric primary health care in Austria involves the services of general pediatricians and general practitioners. Secondary care is mostly provided by the 43 children's hospitals; tertiary care is (particularly) provided in 4 state university hospitals and 1 private university hospital. The training program of residents takes 6 years and is completed by a final examination. Every year, this training program is completed by about 60 residents.

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