While Austria's healthcare operates as a universal system, unfortunately, not everyone gets access to it. At least, not the public option, that is. When it comes to finances, the public option is a lot more affordable as it can give you free or subsidized rates on various treatments, medicine, and access to hospitals & doctors. But only citizens and residents get this right. As long as you're living and working in the country, as well as paying your fair share of taxes, you get access to Austria's public healthcare. If not and you're just a visitor, you ought to get private insurance instead.
Here in Austria, there are two important entities that help keep the healthcare system in-check. If you have a problem regarding your insurance plan or coverage, apart from your provider, these are the governing bodies to seek help from. The first is The Austrian Health Care Structure Plan (ÖSG) which helps organizes everything regarding healthcare in the country. From analyzing outpatient care to planning the capacity for hospitals, they do it all. While The Regional Healthcare Structure Plan, on the other hand, keeps the separate healthcare issues of respective Austrian regions in check. Both are necessary to ensure the system runs smoothly.
Now, if you're a citizen or resident of Austria, you have th right to gain access to the country's public health coverage. That was already established from the start. But what exactly does that entail? Well, it gives you financial aid when going for a number of medical services. They include primary care with your personal doctor, access to public hospitals, emergency care services, maternity care for expecting others, x-ray & laboratory tests, and more. Not to mention psychotherapy for mental problems as well. All in all, public health plans cover most of your needs, all at low to no costs at all.
What about private insurance? Since those are more expensive, why should you go for them? For one thing, you can still keep your public health coverage even if you go for a private insurance plan. The latter can complement the former, most especially if your specific healthcare needs arent met by your public coverage alone. Getting a private plan also gives you other benefits, such as access to private rooms in hospitals, prioritization by your personal doctor, and more. For non-residents, getting a private plan also ensures that medical treatment in Austria won't take a huge toll on your finances.
As far as pharmacies go, there are plenty you can go here in Austria. Called an 'Apotheke,' there's more than one in each city or neighborhood in the country. At times, you can even find them in or near public or private hospitals. Fortunately, a lot of them stay open 24/7, allowing you to get the medicine you need in times of emergency whenever that may be. Moreover, Both public and private options can give you subsidized rates on various over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs. Every pharmacy in the country knows this and it will probably show on your prescription as well.
At the very least, what remains the same whether you stay with public health coverage or get a private insurance plan in Austria is that you'll still have access to emergency medical services. Mainly low to no costs on ambulances and paramedics. All you need to do is dial the emergency hotline 112, share your location and situation, and they'll go to wherever you are as soon as possible. And don't worry, there are English-speaking operators to help you if you don't speak German. But do note that once treated in an emergency room, only then will your health coverage make a difference.
Healthcare in Austria isn't as big of an issue as it is in other countries. It's probably because they've instituted an organized universal system that ensures all people in the country are well-taken-care-of, both medically and financially.
Now, if you want to remain safe in the country, get yourself a luxury apartment in Austria. They're mostly located in the safer areas of the cities.