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"Run" on Teddy Bear Hospital in Vienna

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Image: APA/Hörmandinger

(Vienna, 11 December 2017) Even on the first day of the Teddy Bear Hospital, a joint initiative organised by MedUni Vienna, the Austrian Medical Students' Association (AMSA), Vienna Medical Association and the Academic Association of Austrian Pharmacists, there was a veritable "run" on the clinics for teddy bears, dolls and all kinds of cuddly toys. Even Anita Rieder, Vice Rector for Education at MedUni Vienna, and Elke Wirtinger, Vice-President of Vienna Medical Association, were allowed to assist with examinations or operations in the Teddy Bear Hospital.

The Teddy Bear Hospital will be open until this coming Wednesday (9:00 - 12;00 hrs and/or 13:00 - 16:00 hrs, Vienna Medical Association, Weihburggasse 10-12, 1010 Vienna). The children and their little darlings are welcomed by around 50 teddy doctors, students from MedUni Vienna, at many different, exciting stations. Just as in a real hospital, there is an admission unit, an emergency room and operating theatres. You can have an ECG or a CT scan. A hospital stay is very realistically simulated. The children are allowed to play an active part in examinations and operations in the role of junior doctors.


Image: APA/Hörmandinger

"The Teddy Bear Hospital has become a regular institution at our university and it is supported by great commitment from our medical students," says Anita Rieder, MedUni Vienna's Vice Rector for Education. "The children learn in a playful way about the often complex procedures in a hospital, we arouse their curiosity and address any experiences they might already have had in this hospital environment. It is hoped that they will no longer experience a visit to the doctor or to hospital as strange and possibly frightening but will be able to fall back on the positive experiences they had in the Teddy Bear Hospital."

Elke Wirtinger, Vice-President of Vienna Medical Association is delighted that the Teddy Bear Hospital is once again pitching its tents in the Vienna Medical Association building: "The Teddy Bear Hospital has huge educational value, because it playfully teaches children how to deal with health issues. A positive spin-off is that this helps children to be less fearful of medical emergencies." That would also help in an emergency, if children were to find themselves in similar situations. Their curiosity about everything that goes on in a hospital and examination situation would then outweigh any fear and so make them more resilient," emphasises Wirtinger.

Teddy Bear Hospital 2017 –  open until Wednesday
11 -13 December 2017 (9:00 -12:00 and/or 13:00 -16:00 hrs, admission free – suitable for children aged between 4 and 8 years, individuals need not book, for group bookings go to:, Vienna Medical Association, Weihburggasse 10-12, 1010 Vienna). You are kindly requested to bring slippers or trainers with you. The mornings are reserved for pre-booked school parties but, in the afternoon, individual children are welcome to drop in unannounced with their teddy bears.

Press photographs of the Teddy Bear Hospital can be downloaded here: