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MedUni Vienna Committees: No private hospital on the grounds of the Vienna General Hospital

(Vienna, 25th March 2015) In the current debate around the planned construction of a private hospital on Vienna General Hospital's university campus, the MedUni Vienna's committees have spoken out very strongly against the plans. "The Rector, the University Council and the Senate are unanimous in the view that this would be a spectacular error of judgement, since building a private hospital right there would rob the university departments at Vienna General Hospital of their last opportunity to build further laboratory buildings in the medium to long term to continue their research work," said Rector Wolfgang Schütz.

Says Rector Schutz: "The Medical University of Vienna, although a future partner of the City of Vienna for the joint operation of Vienna's General University Hospital, has so far not received any official notification of this plan whatsoever. It is only following persistent questions on our part that the Vienna General Hospital's subdivision has informed us of the plan by the City of Vienna and UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG to complete an exchange of land in order to create a building site for low-cost apartments: this land belonging to the Confraternität Josefstadt private hospital, a hospital owned by UNIQA's subsidiary PremiQaMed, is to be handed over to the City of Vienna, and in exchange UNIQA will receive the land in the Vienna General Hospital's grounds to build a new private hospital." 

"Since it appears nobody from our immediate partners, Vienna General Hospital and the Vienna Hospitals Association (KAV), has spoken out against this deal, choosing instead to spinelessly give the deal the nod, the Committees of the MedUni Vienna are now protesting vehemently against these plans now that the true facts of the matter have become clear," explained Rector Schütz.

Against the MedUni Vienna's research and teaching mandate  

Worldwide, hospitals that carry out a lot of research, of which Vienna is (still) one, keep expansion options open for as long as possible. With the plans for the private hospital, the university departments at Vienna General Hospital would be robbed of their last opportunity to exercise expansion options in the medium and long term for their research and teaching operations. Says Schütz: "Instead, the final areas available for expansion at one of the best-performing university hospitals in Europe are to be wasted on a private hospital, namely an structure in which, by its very definition, clinical research and teaching have no role to play."

The three management committees at the MedUni Vienna have therefore also sent a letter about this to the City of Vienna and to the State Government, which is set to decide on this project within the next few days.