Austria - Health

Austria's federal government formulates health policy directive and public hygiene standards are high. The country spent an estimated 8.2% of GDP on health care annually as of 1999 and, in recent years, has expanded its public health facilities. Virtually every Austrian has benefits of health insurance. In principle, anyone is entitled to use the facilities provided by Austria's health service. The costs are borne by the social insurance plan, or in cases of hardship, by the social welfare program.

As of 1999, there were an estimated 3 physicians and 8.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people. In 1998, there were 330 hospitals, with 72,078 beds. There were 33,734 doctors and dentists and 1,534 midwives in 1998 and 5,193 psychiatrists in 1999. Life expectancy at birth in 2000 was 78 years. The infant mortality rate was 5 per 1,000 live births. In 1999, 6% of births were low weight. Improvement has been made in lowering the under age five mortality rate from 43 children per 1,000 in 1960 to 5 per 1,000 in 2000. As of 1999, an estimated 90% of married women (ages 15–49) used contraceptives.

As of 1999, Austria immunized its one-year-old children as follows: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (90%) and measles (90%). The overall death rate in 2002 was 10 per 1,000 people, and in 1999 there were 16 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. The HIV prevalence rate in 1999 was 0.2 per 100 adults. By 1997, 7,500 cases of AIDS had been reported. Vienna's medical school and research institutes are world famous; spas (with thermal springs), health resorts, and sanatoriums are popular among Austrians as well as foreigners.

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