In Austria, care for expectant mothers and their children needs to be improved. Specifically, from next year, 266 positions of 40 hours per week will be advertised for midwives. These and other measures are laid down in the new general social insurance contract.
The contract has been agreed jointly with the Austrian Midwifery Committee and will take effect on 1 January 2023. It is intended that midwifery functions can be shared in the future. Further innovations include modernizations such as telephone consultations and telemedical care in special circumstances such as a pandemic. In the future, the fund will also take over the services of midwives from the 32nd week of pregnancy if a delivery is planned in the hospital.
Higher rates for home visits and ordinations
The new contract also stipulates that the rates for home visits and surgeries will be increased retroactively from 1 January 2022. Further annual increases are planned for all rates through 2025.
ÖGK: “Milestone in healthcare”
The chairman of the Austrian health insurance fund (ÖGK), Andreas Huss, spoke of a “milestone in care” in a broadcast. The chairman of the midwives committee, Gerlinde Feichtlbauer, also said that with the new contract there will be more midwives with a health insurance contract in the future. “The new rates for health insurance bring the remuneration of self-employed midwives closer to the salaries of midwives in hospitals. In addition, there are now also modern part-time solutions for midwives, so that more colleagues have the opportunity to work with a health insurance contract. Higher health insurance rates, modern part-time solutions and the focus on aftercare are the ‘key points of the new health insurance contracts’.
Previously, professional representatives had repeatedly pointed to staff shortages and, among other things, argued for more training places.
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