Look at personnel files – This is how many employees the Vienna Health Association has


The pandemic and its aftermath have pushed the healthcare system and the Vienna Health Association (Wigev) to their limits. Personnel planning in particular received a lot of criticism. Now the Wigev provides insight into this area for the first time. Have frustrated employees turned their backs on the health association en masse?

The past years of the pandemic have left their mark on Vienna’s healthcare system. The clinics are bursting at the seams. Patients piled up in the outpatient clinics and entire departments had to be closed due to lack of staff. The result was dozens of reports of abuses in Viennese clinics. Employees themselves often warned that the system would collapse. The health care association’s failed personnel policy was cited as the reason.

Personnel planning under criticism
There was strong criticism, especially from the Vienna Medical Association. One of the accusations was that doctors and nurses were at their limits and would turn their backs on Wigev en masse. A lack of transparency about the positions required or assigned was also cited. Now, for the first time, the General Management provides comprehensive insight into the personnel files from 2019 to 2023 – and the figures are sometimes astonishing.

The staffing level remained virtually the same
Facts First: One of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare network has been securing and retaining qualified staff. In total, the Wigev has approximately 28,500 approved positions, with the workforce among medical professionals remaining constant at approximately 94 percent despite the pandemic. However, the number of vacancies has remained virtually the same since the end of 2020. The healthcare association profiles itself as a very attractive employer. 29,169 people from about 100 countries work in 70 different professions in the city’s clinics and nursing homes.

More and more people are turning away from healthcare
Yet the need for additional staff is clearly noticeable. Healthcare is still a point of concern: staffing levels here (2023: 92.66 percent) are lower than those of doctors and are declining by one to two percentage points annually. The health association has not yet succeeded in completely stopping this development.

The calculation is partially correct
But: Despite a wave of retirements and a cross-industry shortage of skilled workers, more employees were hired than left the company in 2023. Specifically, 3,047 departures represent a total of 3,171 entries.

The recruitment bonus of 1000 euros appears to be a great success
How do you want to make up for the deficit, especially when it comes to care? First and foremost there is the expansion of training places in the clinical field. The number of training places for doctors has increased by 17.6 percent since 2022. Training places have also almost doubled in nursing and the medical, therapeutic and diagnostic healthcare professions. There are also financing options, such as the chance of a job during the training. The recruitment bonus also proved to be a successful recruitment instrument. In 2023, more than 700 new employees were recruited in this way. There were also increases in starting salaries in shortage subjects such as child and adolescent psychiatry, psychiatry, anesthesia, radiology, radiation therapy and trauma surgery/orthopedics.

Sick leave and part-time work as problem children
However, major challenges arise from the high part-time percentage and the increase in the number of sick leave days (including short-term sick leave). Both values ​​have risen considerably in recent years – which sometimes makes roasting difficult. In nursing, one in three employees only works part-time. And the number of absenteeism due to illness has also increased considerably in five years. Further improvements need to be made here.

Source: Krone


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