To relieve the burden on the healthcare system, we need an extension of authorisation!

The Austrian University of Applied Sciences Conference (FHK) considers it fundamentally positive that the amendment to the reform of the medical-therapeutic-diagnostic (MTD) healthcare professions has now been submitted for review. Since 2006, members of the MTD professions have been trained within the framework of scientifically based studies at universities of applied sciences. An initial consultation among the heads of the relevant degree programmes has shown that certain adaptations are required in the amendment.

The main aim of the amendment is to improve the provision of MTD healthcare services to the population. To this end, the amendment provides for an up-to-date description of job profiles, but this goal has not yet been achieved. There is also a need for a profession-specific extension of authorisation in accordance with the competences of university graduates to work independently.

In the interests of quality, patient safety and a future improvement in the care situation and relief for the healthcare system, the FHK is calling for this,

  • that the future specialisations build on the FH Bachelor's degree;
  • that specialisations at Master's level are located at those universities of applied sciences that already offer Bachelor's programmes in the respective discipline in the interests of quality and consistency;
  • that these UAS Master's programmes, like other health science professional training courses (e.g. medical health professions), are publicly funded, as the provision of care to the population in the MTD sector must not be made dependent on the availability of private financial resources.

In line with other European countries, the completion of well-founded, quality-assured FH Master's programmes ensures a sufficiently high level of skills acquisition. With this expansion of competence, graduates in the areas of specialisation can assess whether the respective therapeutic treatment is indicated for the patient or not. This will enable quality-assured MTD professions to work independently with extended authorisation. At the same time, healthcare professionals and the next generations will be offered attractive and desirable career prospects for further development, while at the same time relieving the burden on the healthcare system.

In this context, the Austrian universities of applied sciences, with their many years of expertise and international cooperation, are a reliable partner for the aforementioned further development of the MTD professions.

"It is now important to act with an eye to the future and recognise the key role of the MTD professions in the healthcare system. This will help us to stay healthy for longer, be better informed about our health and receive the necessary healthcare services more quickly," said FHK President Ulrike Prommer in an initial reaction to the proposed amendment.

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