The health minister’s biggest critic is his own wife, of all people. At the beginning of the week, the SPÖ boss of Vorarlberg and doctor Gabi Sprickler-Falschlunger caused a stir with a broadcast. How it came about and who the intrepid 65-year-old is.
Subject: press release. The SPÖ chairman of Vorarlberg went straight to court in bold letters: “The end of the quarantine right now is the wrong decision by Health Minister Rauch!” You could only have written “the government”, but no, Gabriele Sprickler-Falschlunger named the cause of their displeasure: Health Minister Rauch.
The media coverage of her broadcast in such a way had less to do with her civil prowess as a general practitioner than with her private coalition: the SPÖ leader from the Ländle is par excellence the wife of the Green Minister of Health, whom she has been harshly criticized. The opposition practically in-house.
Rauch’s red-green coalition at home
Some then headlined: “Quarantine out: also harsh criticism of your own wife”, while others immediately suspected: “Because of quarantine out: bad air in the smokehouse?”. “Where from?!” the nearly 66-year-old waved off with a laugh when we asked her about it on Tuesday, while at the same time walking to the lectern in Vienna to announce the decision she had berated in the media.
She didn’t hesitate for a second, admitting honestly: “It was my duty as a doctor and as a politician to do that. Johannes and I have been together for ten years and we knew from the beginning that we have the same values, but often different opinions. ” Addendum: “If I were Green, I wouldn’t be in the SPÖ. And we already live in a time when women are allowed to have their own opinion.”
But the fact that her protest note found such an impact surprised even her as an old hand, she has to smile. And also admits that she preferred to present her husband with a fait accompli – as he did with the countries. When he called her Monday, like every night, from Vienna in Dornbirn to ask so-so-la-la about the day, “I said to him, ‘You, I made a broadcast there.'” “Yes”, he replied. That is it. topic done. On TV he said: “I love my wife. She has her own opinion and that’s a good thing.”
Once before, her fearlessness made the national media. That was in late January when she jumped out of the car in a traffic jam after work to face a Corona demo alone. She then told the ORF that she had “rocked up” the situation because “normal people are congregating with neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers.” “You march with fascists!”
As she said at the outset, the belligerent Gabi has been in a relationship with Johannes Rauch for ten years – a politically not unexploded constellation, both of whom have been consistently left out of the media for this reason. The two have only been married for seven months, exactly since the day before Christmas Eve. The occasion was less romantic than pragmatic: “We bought an apartment together, and then somehow it was clear that we were going to get started.” And since everything was somehow clear anyway, the future husband did not even have to grow up to apply. For both, the marriage is number 2. He has two adult daughters from his first marriage, she one (the 30-year-old lawyer works for the data protection authority in Vienna).
It can also be done without smoke
Sprickler-Falschlunger did not want to accept the name “Rauch”, which is actually not unoriginal for health politicians. Not to remain incognito (Mr Rauch did not take the stage as Health Minister until March 8), but “because I already have a double name. And I’m known for this one.”
The 66-year-old will close her practice for good at the end of September and will retire. She has not found a successor. A problem that could affect the whole country, as she complains: “The old models no longer meet modern requirements. Young people no longer want to work alone and bear all the responsibility alone.” In the waiting room she sees the devastating effects of Corona every day: thrombosis, heart attacks, strokes – especially Lung Covid: “The effects on our health system are totally underestimated.”
What do you like most about your private coalition partner? “We are very tolerant, don’t get on each other’s nerves and like to be together. And we always have a lot to talk about.” Especially this weekend. There is a need for discussion. Because the rather hefty Gabi now also had to undergo an acute hip operation.
I’m an experienced news author and editor based in New York City. I specialize in covering healthcare news stories for Today Times Live, helping to keep readers informed on the latest developments related to the industry. I have a deep understanding of medical topics, including emerging treatments and drugs, the changing laws that regulate healthcare providers, and other matters that affect public health.