SHARE
COPY LINK

OFFBEAT

Austrian prisoners to receive condoms and lubricant

'Safe sex packages' including an informative leaflet will be distributed to all new inmates in Austria's prisons.

Austrian prisoners to receive condoms and lubricant
Photo: robertelyov/Flickr

The 'safe sex' packages contain condoms, lubricant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as a leaflet with information about safe sex practice, Austrian newspaper Heute reported on Tuesday.

The leaflet has pictures of stick figures in sexual positions, to show how infections can occur.

“The take-care package, including information, is an important message about preventing infections, especially HIV and hepatitis B and C. Health is our priority,” a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Britta Tichy-Martin, said, according to Heute.

The package will be available in 13 languages, including German, English, French, Arabic, Chinese and Swahili, reflecting the various nationalities of Austria's prison population.

Erection pills

In 2014 a whistleblower revealed that some long-term prisoners in Krems Stein prison in Lower Austria have been issued with 1000 Cialis-brand erectile-dysfunction drugs.

The story mentioned Cialis, which is prescribed as an erectile-dysfunction treatment, as an 'aphrodisiac', and expresses puzzlement at the motivation for the unusual clinical regime.

An employee received the order for 1000 doses of the 5 mg potency pills, which he found highly suspect.  According to Heute, the employee explained that “We only carry out the arrangements of the medical management.  Why long-term prisoners receive potency pills, is a matter solely for the chief physician to know.”

Christian Lausch, justice spokesman for the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), called for an investigation into and an immediate halt of the distribution of the “potency treat.”  

“The fact that the taxpayer has to pay for them, makes this scandal twice as bad”, he said.

Prison Facts

Inmates are obliged to work in Austrian prisons. Therefore prisons run workshops and businesses in about 50 locations, and sell the products, including Christmas gifts, through a web site.
 
Prisoners are also able to buy other products, including erection medications.  It's not entirely clear why such a medicine is needed in prison.
 
For their work, inmates receive a salary, of which 75 percent is withheld as a contribution to the execution of the sentence.  The rest is divided, with one half of the money (12.5 percent) used as pocket money during imprisonment, and the other half saved for after their release. 
 
In addition the inmates contribute to unemployment insurance and are therefore entitled to receive unemployment benefits after their release from prison.
 
The average prison population in 2011 was 8,816.  As of September 1st, 2011 4,027 of inmates (46 percent) were non-Austrians, 572 were women (6 percent) and 149 adolescents.
 
Prison Costs
 
In 2013, there were 3,892 people working in the Austrian prison system, with 3,124 employed as prison guards. The remainder represent different professions, including doctors, psychologists, pastors, sociologists, trainers, social workers, therapists, nurses and administration staff. 
 
The average cost per inmate per day in prison in 2011 was €99.  The total amount spent over the year was €373 million.
 
The Austrian prison system consists of the following institutions:
  • 7 penal institutions for men – Stein, Graz-Karlau, Garsten, Suben, Sonnberg, Hirtenberg, Wien-Simmering
  • 1 penal institution for adolescents – Gerasdorf
  • 1 penal institutions for women – Schwarzau
  • 3 institutions for involuntary detention (Maßnahmenvollzug) – Göllersdorf, Wien-Mittersteig, Wien-Favoriten
  • 15 court institutions („gerichtliche Gefangenenhäuser“) – Eisenstadt, Wien-Josefstadt, Wr. Neustadt, St. Pölten, Krems, Korneuburg, Graz-Jakomini, Leoben, Klagenfurt, Linz, Wels, Ried i.I., Salzburg, Innsbruck, Feldkirch
  • The Vienna juvenile court – Wiener Jugendgerichtshilfe

For members

HEALTH

How do I get a European Health Insurance Card in Austria?

An European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides EU residents with access to public healthcare across the bloc. Here’s what you need to know about getting an EHIC in Austria.

How do I get a European Health Insurance Card in Austria?

A big advantage of living in Europe is the ability to travel to so many different countries.

But sometimes accidents or illness can happen while on holiday or a work trip, which can mean an unplanned visit to a doctor.

READ ALSO: Austria recommends 4th Covid vaccine dose for everyone over 12

Thankfully, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) provides some protection against expensive medical bills in the form of reciprocal healthcare. 

Here’s what you need to know about the EHIC and how to get the card in Austria.

What is an EHIC?

An EHIC is a form of medical insurance cover and replaces the international health insurance voucher (form E111). It is issued free of charge and allows holders to access state-provided medical care while temporarily in another EU country. 

It works on a reciprocal basis through a country’s social security system and care is provided at the same cost as those insured in the country (which means it can be free, in some cases).

This means that if you have an e-card and are insured with one of the public health insurances in Austria, such as ÖGK, for example, you are entitled to the EHIC and to access public health services (to a certain extent) in other countries.

FOR MEMBERS: What is Austria’s e-card and what do you need to know about it?

The EHIC is valid in all 27 EU countries, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the UK.

However, the EHIC is not an alternative to comprehensive travel insurance as it doesn’t cover any private healthcare costs, a flight home or lost/stolen property.

Why do I need an EHIC in Austria?

The main advantage of having an EHIC is if you need medical treatment while briefly travelling in another country.

While the coverage is limited to state-provided healthcare, it does mean you will be treated by a doctor and not liable to pay non-resident medical fees.

READ NEXT: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

Austria’s e-card – the national insurance card – is needed for almost all medical procedures. On the back, it contains the EHIC Ecard image: Wikicommons

How do I get an EHIC?

EHICs are issued by the national health country provider of the country where you live. This could be, for example, the ÖGK or SVA, depending on which provider you use in Austria.

In Austria, every e-card (the health insurance card that is used to visit a doctor) already contains an EHIC on the reverse of the card, so there is no need to apply for it separately. 

However, if the data fields on the EHIC on the back of your e-card contains stars (***) instead of personal information such as name and date of birth, further documentation is required to access healthcare in another EU country.

In this case, you need to contact your social security provider in Austria to receive a replacement card before you travel.

The EHIC is only valid on the condition that you are insured or co-insured in Austria.

Useful words 

Social insurance – Sozialversicherung

Travel insurance – Reiseversicherung

Healthcare – Gesundheitspflege

Useful links

European Commission

Austrian social insurance

SHOW COMMENTS