Industry event of the year: Forum Hospital Management on April 6

March 15, 2016

Business-oriented, efficiency-driven hospitals: silver bullet, faulty reasoning, health-care crossroads?

In German hospitals, the output per employee is on average 20% higher than in Austrian ones. Nowhere else in the world do private operators provide more hospital beds. What lessons can we learn from this? Is streamlining and marketizing health care ever more rapidly the answer to all problems, and what will be the major challenges facing health-care executives in the future? National and international experts will address these and other questions during the 13th Forum Hospital Management, held at Studio 44 in Vienna on April 6. Revolving around the theme of "Business-oriented, efficiency-driven hospitals: silver bullet, faulty reasoning, health-care crossroads?", Austria's leading health-economics day will this year put the spotlight on major trends in health care, issues shaping the field's future and international real-world examples of innovative health-care management.

The Forum Hospital Management brings together research and practice, theories and real-world applications as well as ideas and implementation strategies in a way that is unparalleled in Europe. Joining forces with two of the most renowned players in the health care sector - the Vienna General Hospital and Vinzenz Group - the WU Executive Academy offers national and international experts a unique setting for not only discussing challenges in the fields of social policy and economic policy, but also for addressing the question of how to overcome the major management challenges in health care.
Prof. Steyrer during his presentation at the 2015 Forum Hospital Management

"Some regard the process of streamlining and marketizing health care as a silver bullet. Others, by contrast, believe that the obsession with efficiency will put the final nail in the coffin of the art of healing. The day-to-day realities in Austrian hospitals can nowadays be outlined as follows: over-provision and under-provision, parallel structures, uncontrolled flows of patients, free riding and a 'help-yourself' attitude, an overwhelming lack of progress or business as usual - if you like - despite proposals for reform galore. In light of these serious problems, we need managers who, taking into account scientific, economic and ethical concerns, are capable of resolving the conundrum of how to strike a sensible balance between what is possible and what is feasible. Giving a trenchant analysis of how this challenge can be met - e.g. by providing decision-makers with specialist training - is what we aim to do during the Forum," says Prof. Johannes Steyrer, Academic Director of the Professional MBA Health Care Management and Head of WU Vienna's Research Institute for Health Care Management and Health Economics.


It is against this backdrop that the 13th Forum Hospital Management will address, among other aspects, the following questions:

  • Is stepping up the marketization and privatization of health care the answer to solving its economic problems on a long-term basis?
  • Will the paradigm of the "art of healing" have to give way to a "shareholder perspective"?
  • What negative consequences would this have for patients in particular and people in general?
  • Are there alternatives to marketizing health care and being obsessed with making it more efficient?

In addition to intriguing talks by Prof. Giovanni Maio ("How market forces put an end to the art of healing") and Dr. Fred Luks ("Efficiency makes us stupid and sick"), there will be presentations by:

  • Prof. Gabriela-Verena Kornek, Medical Director of Vienna General Hospital
  • Mag. Christian Felber, author, initiator of the "Economy for the Common Good" and the project "Bank for the Common Good".
  • Dr. Stephan Schulmeister, economist, Austrian Institute of Economic Research

For further information, please visit:

The WU Executive Academy is pleased to co-host this top event with its longtime partners, Vienna General Hospital and the Vinzenz Group!

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