Navigating healthcare and health insurance in Austria can sometimes be daunting. We can help you find more about the ways to stay healthy.


Austria has a statutory social security system; this means that you will be automatically covered by social insurance as soon as you start your PhD program or scientific internship at ISTA. ISTA will take the  necessary steps to register you with the Austrian health insurance company (Österreichische Gesundheitskasse – ÖGK). You will receive a social insurance number once you are registered.

Social insurance is funded by social insurance contributions, which are paid both by the employer and the employee. Insurance contributions are calculated on the basis of the employee’s gross income.

Social insurance in Austria covers:

  • health insurance
  • pension insurance
  • unemployment insurance
  • accident insurance

The statutory health insurance offers a variety of high-quality services in the event of an illness, accident or pregnancy, e.g.:

  • treatment for illnesses or accidents by panel doctors or specialized institutions (health centers, hospitals, etc.) operated by the social insurance system
  • absence from work due to illness or injury (only for a limited period)
  • parental leave
  • basic dental treatment
  • preventive care services

You can take a private health insurance in addition to the statutory health insurance. The benefits of the additional insurance depend on the type of contract you choose according to your personal requirements.

Insurance for ISTerns

ISTerns are scholars and need to individually organize travel insurance for entry to Austria and health insurance with a partner of the OeAD after entry.

Co-Insurance of Family Members

Family members (spouse, children, stepchildren, foster children, grandchildren) living in the same household as the insured (they need to have a permanent residence in Austria) can be insured in the Austrian social security system.

Our Human Resources Office will be happy to help you learn more about health insurance in Austria.

Health and Safety Services on Campus

A number of resources are available to ensure student wellbeing and safety on campus.

An occupational physician (general doctor) is present on campus on a weekly basis.

An occupational psychologist is available for consultation on campus every second week.

It is important to know that under normal circumstances, these services are entirely confidential and our Health Services cannot release information about the content of your appointments to anyone (including family) without your written consent.

Lab Safety

Safety is of paramount importance to the responsible conduct of scientific research.

All ISTA students are required to attend a health and safety briefing before they commence with their lab work.

Good Practice Officer

ISTA strives to offer the best possible working, research, and learning environment for all employees and fosters a culture of mutual support, open mindedness, diversity, and inclusion.

Nevertheless, situations may arise in which professional support is necessary. ISTA has appointed a Good Practice Officer (GPO) to make sure students receive effective counselling and crisis support.

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