Department of Radiology Mao Xijin
Together with other 11 doctors from all over China, I was selected by the China-Austria Health Exchange Association to have a three-month study at Donau Hospital, the second largest one in Vienna. With deligent study and close observation as well as professional exchange with local doctors, I benefited a lot from this program.
Donau Hospital is a public hospital administered by Vienna Hospital Authority. It was established in 1992. The hospital consists of 978 beds, 16 inpatient departments, 20 outpatient departments, 6 auxiliary departments and 4 ICUs and a faculty of 2878. Data show that there are 52956 inpatients were treated by Donau hospital in 2014 and the average length of hospital stay is 6.2 days. It also shows that 376791 outpatients were treated by Donau Hospital, and its annual income was about 289 million Euros in 2014.
Insurance in Austria covers more than 98% of its population. It includes medical insurance, accident insurance, employee pension insurance and unemployment insurance. Tax in Austria is relatively high. The general tax rate takes up about 40% of the total income. With an income over 5000 Euros, the tax will reach more than 50%. Patients do not need to pay for drugs because they are covered by medical insurance. The only fee paid by patients is the prescription.
Donau Hospital is a modern one. Most of its logistics work is done automatically including the transportation of food, goods and clothing. On the ground floor, there are a lot of robots running continuously. They travel on the set lines. When approached by people, they will stop and wait. The set lines are divided into emergency and ordinary categories. The staff is just responsible for classifying, uploading and downloading the items.
Donau Hospital is also hospital full of artistic atomosphere. Various art works are hung on both sides of all corridors, which makes it comparable to museums. After inquiring with my supervisor, I learned that these arts pieces are created by some young artists and have been constantly updated.
The Radiology Department in Donau Hospital is comprehensive and large. There are sub-departments such as X-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound and interventional medicine. Pediatric Radiology Department was also established. There are two 64 slice spiral and dual source CTs. There are two magnetic resonance machines in the MR room, which are 1.5T and 3.0T magnetic resonance machines. There are 20 doctors in the Radiology Department including one professor who is also the director of the CT room. There are 6 OA doctors in the department. One of them is the department director.
Doctors in Austria have only two grades, doctor and OA doctor. Doctors are only responsible for medical work. There is only one professor in each clinical department, who is responsible for both the medical and scientific work and must be trained by AKH hospital, the affiliated Hospital of University of Vienna. Generally speaking, the director of a department is also a professor. The training procedure of Austrian doctors is very strict. Study time of medical university education in Austria lasts as long as 6 years. After finishing medical education, another 6 years are required for residency and specialty training. Then they can apply for doctor qualification exams. They will become qualified doctors after passing the exam. The official language in Austria is German. Foretunately, local doctors can speak fluent English. Their English is much better than ours because they study Latin in medical universities and read mediclal books in English daily.
During my study in Austria, I am impressed by their advantages in hospital administration, service and technology in the following aspects: 1. The concept of “patient-first”. For inpatients, the hospital offers meticulous cares. They are accompanied by only one person or nobody. The patients’ daily lives are taken care of by the hospital. If inpatients need particular examination, they will be sent to relevant departments by a special person. When young inpatients feel nervous and cry in Pediatric Radiology Department, a clown may help to relieve their tension. 2. The strict working attitude of medical workers. Doctors in Austria have strict standards for disease staging and diagnosis. Diagnosis and treatment of many diseases such as pulmonary nodules, prostate cancer and thyroid nodules are in co-ordinance with international guidelines. For the diagnosis of a disease, clinical eva luation must be reflected in the report whther the focus is benign or malignant. 3 Communication and cooperation between doctors in Radiology Department and other clinicians go smooth. Doctors in Austria all have special internal telephones in the hospital. If the clinician has any question about the report, they could communicate very well with their fellow doctors in Radiology Department. Clinical departments often invite doctors from Radiology Department to attend case discussion and diagnosis. 4. The harmonious relationship between doctors and patients. Patients have full trust in their doctors. Patients in Pediatric Radiology Department are usually very young. They often cry because they are nervous. Their parents are acceptable for these and seldom complain. Sometimes they even comfort doctors. 5. Humane hospital management. There is a strict reservation system in Radiology Department of Austria. In MR room they usually make appointment for one patient in one hour. Doctors in Radiology Department arrange the sequence of appointments according to the urgency of the disease. Each clinical department has one or two full-time secretaries to assist the director to accomplish daily work. According to the law in Austria, each person works up to 40 hours a week.
The three-month study is short but greatly benefitial for me. I am grateful for the supervisors and teachers who helped me in this trip to Austria. Their help made my study more exciting. The rigorous working attitude and professionalism of doctors in Austria left me deep impression. This experience confirms me with my faith to be a good doctor.