Sick Notification via Phone May Be Extended in Austria

Lifestyle & TravelHealth ♦ Published: August 18, 2020; 14:20 ♦ (Vindobona)

Due to the Corona Pandemic, the possibility to receive a sick notification via mobile phone was introduced. This regulation will end in August, but the Medical Chamber is pleading for an extension. The Health Ministry is thinking about it.

It might be possible longer to receive a sick notification through a phone call. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Kārlis Dambrāns / CC BY (

As in March the COVID-19 cases were dramatically rising in Austria, the Health Ministry introduced a different approach to receive a sick notification. From then on, it was possible for employees to call their general doctor and explain their sickness. The doctor could then provide a notification without having seen the patient.

The idea was to reduce the number of people visiting a doctor as infections can be spread easily in a waiting room.

However, the regulation will end at the end of August and the Health Ministry did not show any intention to extend it.

Johannes Steinhart from the Vienna Medical Chamber criticizes that in respect of the constantly increasing Corona cases, waiting rooms should not be the new hotspots.

As critics like Mr Steinhart's get more, the Ministry will discuss within the next two weeks if the regulation will be extended into autumn.

Mr Steinhart, on the other hand, prefers an extension at least until the end of this year.

According to the Medical Chamber, the sick notifications have been decreasing since March. A possible reason could have been the fear of losing the job, Mr Steinhart says.

A different opinion to the extensions has the Social Security for self-employed persons. They prefer that people have to visit a doctor as it is difficult to make a proper investigation via phone.