Vienna ambulance service warns fuel prices are putting patients at risk

The Local Austria
The Local Austria - [email protected]
Vienna ambulance service warns fuel prices are putting patients at risk
Emergency services alert of possible service issues as fuel prices continue rising. (Photo by GEORG HOCHMUTH / APA / AFP) / Austria OUT

Emergency services in Vienna say they will soon not be able to carry out their daily appointments and are struggling to transport patients due to cost of filling up on fuel.


Ambulances are struggling to transport patients to hospitals in Vienna due to rising fuel prices in Austria and emergency services now warn of possible service bottlenecks and supply shortages.

The paramedics from the Arbeiter-Samariterbund (Samaritan Association) charity will soon no longer be able to carry out its six hundred appointments a day, according to managing director Reinhard Hundsmüller, speaking to the Wien Heute TV programme.

Most ambulance rides consist of trips to the hospital for people who regularly receive chemotherapy or dialysis, but rising prices for gasoline, electricity and even medical products are worrying sector representatives.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Am I liable for ambulance costs in Austria?


Other rescue services in Vienna, such as the Red Cross, the Green Cross or the Johanniter, are in the same situation.

“We now have additional costs of €200,000 per month – for all rescue organisations in total. That is why we are also demanding a mineral oil tax exemption, just as it is already possible for other companies such as agricultural businesses and the fire brigade,” said Robert Lorenz, head of operations at the Johanniter charity.

If no tax exemption is possible, the organisations then ask for special funding similar to the €120 million package the government earmarked to assist the agriculture sector.

"This is about sick people, not products. We have to understand that sick people are also important," Hundsmüller said.

READ ALSO: Who to call and what to say in an emergency in Austria

At the same time, the health associations alert that donations are declining. These organisations are financed by the Austrian Health Insurance fund and private donations.

"Of course, we notice that with the inflation rising, donations are also declining", Lorenz said. He added that the emergency services don't want to unsettle people but there is a need to warn of a possible supply shortage.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also