Thursday, November 17, 2011

[EQ] Public health in Austria - An analysis of the status of public health

Public health in Austria - An analysis of the status of public health

Edited by

Joy Ladurner, Marlene Gerger, Walter W. Holland, Elias Mossialos, Sherry Merkur, Susie Stewart, Rachel Irwin and J├╝rgen Soffried

World Health Organization 2011 - European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Available online PDF [370p.] at:

“………Current demographic, medical and economic developments challenge our health care system in a hitherto unknown way, to be relevant not only today but also for decades to come. We are confronted with the difficult task of providing accessible, needs-orientated, high-quality and cost-effective health care services to everyone.

Great efforts need to be made to promote sustainable health for the entire population, especially in view of the fact that disadvantaged population groups currently tend to have less favourable health opportunities and outcomes and that health system processes can intensify this situation. Health service provision must strive to be independent of income, level of education or professional status.

Orientating health policy solely towards the health care sector is too limited. Modern health policy, which is characterized by a public health orientation, combines scientific, organizational and political efforts in order to promote the health of populations or defined population groups and creates health care systems which show a stronger focus on people’s needs and efficiency.

Quality, effectiveness, efficiency, free access, equitable and needs-oriented health services are the basis for an optimal level of health care services for the population in the long term…..”




1. Introduction

1.1 History

1.2 The German experience

1.3 The history of public health in developed countries

Late 19th century

Before the First World War

Between the wars

After the wars

Recent and current issues in public health

1.4 Scope, functions and responsibilities of public health

Addressing determinants of health

Scope and responsibilities

1.5 Structure of public health

National and local structures

Supranational and international structures

Other actors and sectors

Multidisciplinary public health

1.6 Education, training and research

1.7. Examples of public health in practice – selected issues

Coronary heart disease

Abortion and fertility


Reference to country examples

1.8 Conclusions

2. Analysis of the Austrian public health system

2.1 Introduction and definitions

Core functions of public health – a brief overview

Notions of public health in Austria

Experts’ opinions on the definition and understanding of public health

2.2 Legislation

2.3 Funding


Research and literature

Funding of public health-related services – overview

Funding of selected public health services and activities

2.4 Organization, structures and stakeholders

2.5 Public health disciplines, training and research – key functions

Public health disciplines

Public health training and research structure

Functions of public health in Austria

2.6 Challenges and priority areas for public health in Austria

Health and disease in Austria 80

Challenges and priority areas for public health based on expert opinion

2.7 Conclusions

3. Information management and health reporting

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Legislation

3.3 Stakeholders

3.4 Health information systems

3.5 Data protection

3.6 Data surveillance and data analysis

3.7 Health reporting

Definitions and targets of health reporting

Development of health reporting in Austria


Producers of health reports

Time spans between reporting

Contents of reports

Influence of international reporting activities

Follow-up measures, evaluation and sustainability

Success factors for health reporting

Ideal health reporting versus current practice in Austria


The role of social insurance in health reporting

3.8 Infectious diseases

Legislation on infectious diseases

Mandatory reporting of notifiable infectious diseases

Surveillance of infectious diseases

Early-warning systems

Outbreak control

Reporting and control of infectious diseases in practice

3.9 Registries

3.10 Conclusions

4. Health targets

5. Addressing disadvantaged and special needs groups

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Identification of disadvantaged groups

Dimensions and scope of the disadvantaged population

Impact of disadvantage on health status

5.3 Equity of access to curative and public health services

Promoting access to care and healthy lifestyles of disadvantaged groups

Equity of access to curative services

Equity of access to public health services

Selected health services for disadvantaged groups

5.4 Potential role of social insurance

5.5 Conclusions

6. Health professionals and public health

6.1 Public health professionals in Austria

Physicians and public health



Other public health professionals

6.2 Capacity-building in public health

The concept of capacity-building

Leadership and commitment


Structures and organizational development

Networking and partnerships

Workforce development


Capacity-building in social insurance

6.3 Public health research

Public health research topics in Austria

6.4 Conclusions

7. Recommendations

7.1 Immediate recommendations


Overall framework and strategy

7.2 General recommendations

7.3 Specific recommendations

8. Annexes




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