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Austria

Haut- und Geschlechtskrankheiten (Austria)


  • Proportionality information

    1. Have you examined whether the requirements under your national legal system are
    directly or indirectly discriminatory on the basis of nationality or residence?
       The requirements to pursue the profession constitute neither direct nor indirect discrimination on the basis of nationality or residence. They are exclusively based on the professional qualification and the physical and mental health as well as trustworthiness. Only persons who fulfill the requirements to pursue the profession may be registered in the professional list and may use the professional title “Facharzt”. Specialised doctors pursuing the medical profession in Austria are obligatory member of the professional organisation Austrian Medical Chamber.

    2. Which of the following overriding reasons relating to the general interest justifies the measure(s)?
         
    • Public health
    •    
    • Protection of consumers and recipients of services

    3. What specific risks or benefits have you identified that your measure(s) is designed to, respectively, minimise or maximise?

       Please try to be specific in describing the nature of the risks/benefits you have identified
       Where you have selected more than one overriding reason relating to the general interest in question 2 please be sure to address each of these in your response. Wherever possible please include evidence.

       Public Health:
    The profession of specialised doctor in Dermato-venereology includes prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of all conditions and diseases of the skin and internal organs insofar as they are connected with the skin in terms of physiology and pathophysiology, mucosas contiguous with skin and skin appendages, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of dermatological manifestations of systemic diseases and systemic manifestations of skin diseases, specialist oncology and allergology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of chronic venous insufficiency, peripheral angiopathy, venereology as well as prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and other diseases of the genito-anal tract. This overriding reason of general interest ensures the safety of the patient and sufficient and permanent high-quality treatment and is essential for public health. Legislation protects on the one hand the patient and on the other hand the professional by means of reservations related to the exercise of professional activities, professional title and, on principle, educational requirements. Healthcare professionals have to exercise their professions with due diligence and without discrimination. They have to ensure the wellbeing and health of the humans entrusted to them in compliance with applicable regulations and in line with technical and scientific knowledge and experience. These measures do not contain any risks, but only the mentioned benefits.
    Consumer protection: Based on the requirement of a formal qualification in specialised medicine the consumer respectively patient can rely on the fact that the professional has acquired the necessary knowledge, skills and competences for exercising and fulfilling the professional tasks. These measures do not contain any risks, but only the mentioned benefits.

    4. How specifically do your measures operate to minimise the risk(s) or maximise the benefit(s) identified in question 3?

       When addressing this question please try to explain how the measures prevent the risks or guarantee the benefits.
       Where you have selected more than one overriding reason relating to the general interest in question 2 please be sure to address each of these in your response. Wherever possible please include evidence.

       The benefits of regulation measures are maximized in the following areas: The multi-annual theoretical and practical education and training at medical universities, which is also required by the minimum training conditions set up by the Directive 2005/36/EC, ensures high-proven professional expertise to achieve the enlisted benefits and avoid risks. Professional diagnosis and therapy or treatment as well as counselling on health-related issues may only be obtained and ensured by these measures. The regulation creates trust of the patients in the healthcare provider who treats them and ensures high quality of healthcare and prevent excessive guarantee and damage claims. According to the Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare healthcare providers have to provide relevant information on the quality and safety of the healthcare they provide, their authorization or registration status, their insurance cover or other means of protection with regard to professional liability.

    5. In so far as you are able, please provide information that you have gathered regarding the concrete effects of the measure(s).

       For example, through impact assessments or information gathered during implementation or review of a measure. Member States who have recently undergone reforms may in particular be able to contribute helpfully to this field. Where you are able to provide cost-benefit analyses this would be particularly valuable.
       Information on whether the measures indeed successfully prevented risks from being realised (e.g. the number of sanctions imposed, a drop in transgressions since the measure was introduced or consequences from previous modifications of the regulation) would equally be helpful.
       Where you have selected more than one overriding reason relating to the general interest in question 2 please be sure to address each of these in your response. You may also wish to include evidence on consumer satisfaction or other measurements of the impact.

        Based on experience of several decades, only due to the high standards of the regulated sector it is possible to prevent damages of the health of the patient and, in case of damage or harm arising from the treatment, to obtain prosecution or remedies.

    6. Is the general interest objective you indicated in question 2 pursued in a consistent and systematic manner?.

       In approaching your response to this question please consider examples where you have addressed similar risks for comparable professions, not necessarily within the same sector. Is the approach you have adopted in this particular profession comparable or distinct from such similar cases and why?

       In many sectors with potential high-risk hazards, especially in the healthcare sector, the protection of the public interest is guaranteed by standardized qualifications. The regulations in the fields of healthcare professions ensure that patients are only treated and counselled in ill health by highly competent and educated professionals.

    7. Please explain in how far the degree of complexity or the nature of the activities
    which are reserved justify that these activities can be exclusively performed by professionals possessing a specific professional qualification?

       For example: when the tasks are essentially of a straightforward nature (such as preparing and printing pay slips etc.), or involve essentially the execution of instructions, specific professional aptitudes should not be required.

       The tasks of specialised doctors in Dermato-venereology include prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of all conditions and diseases of the skin and internal organs insofar as they are connected with the skin in terms of physiology and pathophysiology, mucosas contiguous with skin and skin appendages, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of dermatological manifestations of systemic diseases and systemic manifestations of skin diseases, specialist oncology and allergology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of chronic venous insufficiency, peripheral angiopathy, venereology as well as prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and other diseases of the genito-anal tract. Due to the high-level complexity of these tasks of reserved professional activities, which are also according to the regulations of the Directive 2005/36/EC dedicated to the profession of specialized doctors distinct from other general or specialised medical profession, it is indispensable to prove comprehensive knowledge, skills and competences, which are conveyed and required by the proven and internationally recognized professional education and training and the professional diploma.

    8. Where you have indicated several measures in place in the screening tab,
    have you reviewed the cumulative effect of all these measures on professional activities?

       If not, why not?
       If yes, please outline for us how you approached assessing this issue as well as the results and conclusions or any learning you drew from this. Where possible please include evidence.

       As the measures are only based on the professional qualification, on which the registration is based, there are no cumulative effects. The obligatory membership to the Austrian Medical Chamber results from the legal tasks of this professional organisation which is responsible for registering, observing the professional duties and promoting the professional issues and interests of specialized doctors in Austria. This additional measure serves to protect the interests of the professionals as well as the patients.

    9. Have you considered the use of alternative mechanisms to achieve your objective(s)?
         
    • Other, please specify

       Please briefly explain. Where you have selected more than one option, please be sure to address each of these in your response.

       No, because ensuring patient safety can best be obtained by a regulated high-standard professional qualification as well as an established professional organisation.

    10. Conclusion

       Following your internal examination of this regulated profession, which of the following have you concluded?

    •    Maintain current system

       Explain where relevant:

       Beside the fact that the profession as well as the training of specialized doctors is harmonised by the Directive 2005/36/EC, which leads to an automatic recognition within the EU, the advantages and strengths of a qualification-related access to the regulated professions in the healthcare sector are evident, as they guarantee patient-safety. Therefore it is important to maintain and improve the clinical skills and competences at a high level and according to the professionally agreed European and international standards.

    11. Any other comments?
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