20. 07. 12. - 16:10
Austria faces doctor shortage
Experts have warned of a shortage of up to 10,000 doctors by 2030.
Austria currently has the highest number of doctors per capita in Europe, but by 2030 that could all change with a shortage of between 2,800 and 7,400 medics, warns a study commissioned by the Chamber of Doctors.
The survey found that if the EU abolishes the current quota system which reserves 75 per cent of places at Austrian universities for native students, then the country will be flooded by medicine students from across the EU, who after attaining their degrees will return to their own countries, leaving Austria short on medics.
The study, which was scheduled to be carried out last year, is expected to be the beginning of a co-ordinated plan to stop the decline of newly trained doctors for the whole of Austria.
One fear highlighted by the results of the study is that existing doctors could be forced to work longer past the current retirement age. On top of that, fewer medics would be encouraged to specialise, leaving a shortage of up to 2,200 specialists by 2030.
The authors of the study however have advised people not to panic, saying some data including the current retirement age of doctors and the movement of graduates across Europe has not yet been looked at.