Austrian doctors want to charge cancellation fees for no-show patients

The Local Austria
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Austrian doctors want to charge cancellation fees for no-show patients
Healthcare costs are rising in Austria, with medical assistance and medicine costs all having gone up. (Photo by Nicolas TUCAT / AFP)

Patients who miss their appointments without calling to cancel beforehand should have to pay up to a €75 fee, says the Austrian Medical Association (ÖÄK).


The ÖÄK is calling on its member doctors to begin charging a no-show fee to help prevent medicine as a “precious resource” from being “wasted” during a time when Austria is short of doctors.

ÖÄK points out that the shortage is making it increasingly harder for patients to get appointments and that doctors cannot get missed appointments reimbursed by public insurance funds.

Some ÖÄK doctors report that anywhere between ten to 15 percent of their appointments are no-shows on any given day, creating a big enough knock-on effect for other patients and for the system as a whole.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Can doctors charge a cancellation fee in Austria?


The association’s proposal would see patients who don’t show up for their scheduled appointments without cancelling beforehand charged between €40 and €75.

Patients who cannot notify their doctor in good time but for a valid reason, such as an unavoidable family emergency – would have this penalty waived.

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The ÖÄK’s call is simply a guideline recommendation, meaning that each individual practice can decide whether or not they will do it. Some already do.

Each practice is also able to decide what the precise penalty fee is and how long in advance patients have to call in advance to cancel their appointments without being penalized. Some require 24 hours' notice while others allow same-day cancellation.


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