Austrian health targets
The 10 Austrian health targets were developed with the aim to prolong the healthy life years of all people living in Austria in the coming 20 years (until 2032), irrespective of their level of education, income or personal living condition.
Since population health is profoundly influenced and determined by many sectors outside the health care sector, the Austrian health targets were defined in a broad and participatory process that involves more than 40 stakeholders from relevant institutions and civil society.
In 2011 the Bundesgesundheitskommission (Federal Health Commission) and the Austrian Council of Ministers requested the development of health targets at federal level. The targets were then formulated by all relevant stakeholders that are part of the process. The 10 health targets were officially approved by the Bundesgesundheitskommission and the Council of Ministers in summer 2012. They were mentioned in two government programmes and are an important basis for the health reform process.
To secure sustainable and efficient health care services of high quality for all
A broad subject requires a broad process
The process of defining the Austrian health targets has been regarded as exemplary at the international level, since all relevant political and social stakeholders have been actively involved. In addition, everyone interested in this topic was invited to express their views and opinions through an online platform. The results of the online participation were then incorporated in the development of the 10 health targets.
The health targets are based on a number of guiding principles. The most relevant are “orientation towards health determinants”, “health-in-all-policies approach” and “promoting health equity”. They take into account the health determinants and policy areas that are crucial in this respect. In addition they relate to both living conditions and individual behaviour, and identify how health equity can be improved.
A framework for action
Implementation of the Austrian Health Targets
For the implementation of the Austrian Health Targets, intersectoral working groups are defining sub-targets and concrete actions. All of the relevant institutions and organisations are represented in the working groups, so that the proposed objectives and measures can be implemented in the respective institutions/organisations. In this way, a systematic approach and consistency as well as sustainability in the realisation of the measures are ensured. So far, five working groups have finalized their reports for target number 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8. In 2016 detailed work for target 9 and 4 will start.
The health targets provide a framework for coordinated action, which is backed by all institutions involved.
The implementation of the Austrian Health Targets is accompanied by a monitoring process. This serves the purpose of strategic management and is intended to contribute towards optimised strategy and action plans. The goals and key elements of the monitoring process were drawn up by the GÖG (Austrian Public Health Institute), coordinated with the Health Targets plenary, and adopted by the Federal Health Commission (BGK).
The monitoring process acts at three levels:
- 1. At the level of the 10 Austrian Health Targets, meta indicators were defined with experts which enable statements to be made on the achievement of goals.
- 2. At the level of objectives, indicators are to be drawn up in the respective working groups.
- 3. At the level of measures, the responsible institutions in the working group define at least one benchmark which is designed to make the level of implementation of the measure visible. At regular intervals the current state of affairs is ascertained. Thereby the working groups and the Health Targets plenary are able to reflect upon the monitoring results regularly and to use this information to plan the next steps.
The monitoring of the Austrian Health Targets takes place in coordination with the monitoring of other strategies such as the health reform process, the health promotion strategy and the health strategy for children and young people.