Patients in many Viennese hospitals are still allowed to receive only three visitors per day, and not at the same time, even after the fall of almost all Corona rules in Austria. The AKH Vienna and the hospitals of the Vienna Health Association are sticking to their existing rules. The Vienna Health Association confirmed Ö1’s “Morgenjournal” report on Thursday. Facilities in the rest of the country are also adhering to stricter regulations.
Vienna justifies the decision by citing the positive impact on patients and increased safety. “It is important to direct visitors and limit the number,” Elena Reghenzani of the Vienna Health Association told APA. Negative corona tests for entry are not required, but people six years and older must still wear FFP2 masks.
Visiting hours have been standardized to 2 pm to 5 pm Monday through Sunday. The last admission is at 4:00 pm. On Wednesdays, weekends and holidays, patients can receive visitors between 5:30 pm and 7 pm.
Patients in Vienna’s General Accident Insurance Institution (AUVA) facilities are only allowed three visitors wearing FFP2 masks daily. “In the interest of patient safety, we ask you to limit both the duration and the number of people per day to visit your relatives,” the website states. The same rule also applies to the Barmherzige Brüder and St. Josef Hospital. At Orthopädisches Spital Speising, a maximum of two visitors per patient are allowed simultaneously in the room or hallway. The duration of the visit is one hour. Children under the age of six are not allowed.
The healthcare association referred to numerous studies on the positive influence of visitors at the bedside. However, it said the coming and going should not be unrestricted and must be guided. “This ensures that, on the one hand, our patients can receive daily and reliable visits from their relatives. At the same time, however, steering also helps to limit the number of visitors so that patients are not disturbed or overwhelmed,” it said in a statement. It said special consideration must be given to patients in multi-bed rooms.
However, there should still be exceptions; for example, in neonatology, Reghenzani affirmed. In special cases also positively on the Coronavirus tested persons may enter hospitals. For example, when accompanying or visiting minor patients, accompanying persons during births and in the context of palliative and hospice care or other critical life events.
Gerhard Jelinek, a Viennese patient advocate, is critical of maintaining the regulations. “Our experience says that often several family members want to come at the same time to visit someone and that having visitors is also very, very positive for the healing success,” Jelinek told Ö1’s “Morgenjournal. The exchange with the world outside the hospital is important, she said, and also gives those affected an optimistic outlook for the future. “We all know that a positive attitude toward life is an essential healing factor in addition to therapy.”
He said the clinics and hospitals coordinate and have even stricter regulations in Upper Austria than in Vienna. The rule is that two visitors per patient – wearing FFP2 masks – are allowed per day for one hour during general visiting hours. For patients with special life events, however, there are individual agreements, it was said to the Sisters of Mercy in Ried hospital. One waits for the regulation from the Ministry of Health, which will apply from the end of April and will then again Upper Austria-wide coordinate itself, was Upper Austria. Gesundheitsholding and Ordensklinikum Linz agreed.
The visitor upper limit in Vorarlberg is according to official data of the hospital operating company of the national hospitals and also at the city hospital Dornbirn at present with two visitors per patient per day. FFP2 mask-wearing is compulsory for everyone over the age of 14. Children from the age of six must wear mouth-nose protection.
In hospitals in the province of Salzburg, the 3G rule has been lifted, and there are no longer any access controls or visitor caps. However, all visitors, patients and accompanying persons in buildings must wear an FFP2 mask. In addition, people with limited mobility are not allowed access away from emergencies. Visitors to high-risk areas (such as intensive care units, neonatology, and oncology) must wear appropriate protective equipment. Depending on the hospital, exceptions apply to children, pregnant women or relatives of minors, or patients in palliative care. In the Salzburg Provincial Hospitals (SALK), visiting hours have been largely standardized compared to pre-Corona times.
In the Steiermärkische Krankenanstaltengesellschaft KAGes, one visitor per patient and day can be admitted 30 minutes after registration on the respective ward. Only one visitor is allowed in a patient’s room at a time. Exceptions to the visiting regulations are possible for palliative and hospice care and patients in critical life events. Depending on the situation, individual hospitals, clinics, departments, and wards can define different regulations.
In the Burgenland hospitals of KRAGES (Burgenländische Krankenanstalten GmbH), on the other hand, the intention is to return to the visitor regulations from before the pandemic. By federal requirements, FFP2 masks are mandatory until the end of April but no longer after that. Visitor hours will be extended again, but greater care will be taken to ensure these are observed, a KRAGES spokesman stressed in response to an APA inquiry. There will be no more restrictions on the number of visitors. At the Barmherzige Brüder hospital in Eisenstadt, reference was made to the current regulations from last December. According to the statement, patients who are scheduled to be admitted as inpatients need a negative PCR test result. In addition, masks are mandatory.
A visitor ceiling in the hospitals already no longer exists in the Carinthian provincial hospitals of the Kabeg. “However, it is asked to be considerate of medical and nursing procedures as well as fellow patients during visits,” hospital spokeswoman Nathalie Trost said. Mask obligation and hand disinfection for visits and patients outside their rooms remain upright for now – whether also beyond April is still decided.
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