Your rights as a patient

In Austria, patients’ rights are protected by law. They are defined in the “Patients’ charter” and include the following key points:

Right to treatment and care

  • Treatment and care, regardless of age, gender, origin, wealth, religion, and type or cause of illness
  • Provision of medications
  • Medical care in accordance with current scientific understanding
  • The best possible pain therapy
  • Quality control and quality assurance

Respect for patients’ dignity

  • Protection of patients’ modesty and privacy
  • Adaptation of routines in hospitals and convalescent institutions to suit the usual day-to-day rhythms of patients’ lives
  • Facilitation of religious support and care for inpatients
  • Protection of personal health-related data
  • The option to refuse visitors during an inpatient stay
  • Nomination of next of kin in case the patient’s condition worsens
  • Dying with dignity


Patients must

  • be provided with clear information about possible diagnoses and types of treatment, their risks and effects (in advance),
  • their health status, what level of commitment is needed from them for treatment, and
  • any lifestyle recommendations to enhance the effectiveness

of treatment.

Treatment may only be given with prior agreement,

  • either from the patient himself/herself, or
  • if he/she is not in a position to give that agreement, then by a representative,

unless the patient is unconscious and in imminent danger.

Right to information and documentation

  • Clear explanation of the costs in advance
  • Consultation of medical documentation together with any attachments (e.g. x-ray images)
  • Copies of medical documentation (no reason must be given, but if necessary, the patient may have to meet the costs of providing copies)
  • Keeping a record of the patient’s wishes

Special conditions for children

Any explanation given to children must be appropriate to their developmental stage. When children under the age of 10 are admitted to the hospital, it should be possible to admit an accompanying adult with them; if this is not possible, they must have the right to visit at any time.

Patients’ wishes

Patients have the right to submit a statement of wishes in advance, in case they are not able to do so at a later stage. This includes:

  • a patient decree
  • of objection to organ donation
  • power of attorney

TIP: For further information (in German) on your rights as a patient, please see:

Skodagasse 32, 1080 Vienna Icon Standort