For members


What is Austria’s Mutter-Kind-Pass and how is it changing?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass is hitting the headlines as the Austrian Federal Government plans a reform of the scheme. Here's how it works now, why it is necessary and how it will change in the future.

What is Austria’s Mutter-Kind-Pass and how is it changing?
The Mutter-Kind-Pass enables pregnant women in Austria to access free medical examinations. (Photo by Kristina Paukshtite / Pexels)

The Mutter-Kind-Pass (Mother-Child-Pass) was launched in Austria in 1974 to ensure the health and wellbeing of pregnant women and their babies.

It grants pregnant women free access to essential examinations and consultations, and serves as a record of healthcare.

But big changes are on the cards for the pass as a digitization reform is planned for the coming years, while disputes continue about the cost of the scheme.

Here’s what you need to know about how the Mutter-Kind-Pass works, why it’s necessary and how it will change. 

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What is the Mutter-Kind-Pass?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass is a small, yellow passport-style document to provide and track healthcare for pregnant women and young children in Austria.

It is issued to a woman when a pregnancy is confirmed by a doctor and contains records of medical examinations during pregnancy. As well as health check-ups for the child up to five years of age.

The Mutter-Kind-Pass exists to ensure pregnant women and children get the necessary medical care they need.

For example, women in Austria are entitled to five medical check-ups throughout their pregnancy including blood tests, internal examinations, ultrasound scans and consultations with a midwife.

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Who can get the Mutter-Kind-Pass and how much does it cost?

Any pregnant woman living in Austria can get the Mutter-Kind-Pass (and subsequent health examinations) for free.

However, all examinations must take place with a doctor that is registered with a health insurance company in Austria.

Women without health insurance need a confirmation of entitlement from the Austrian health insurance fund that is responsible for the area where they live.

This is a required step before any examinations can take place free of charge.

Why is the pass necessary?

The Mutter-Kind-Pass and its mandatory examinations are primarily used to detect any illnesses or possible complications early. 

The expected date of delivery is also entered into the Mutter-Kind-Pass, so the document is needed to receive maternity pay in Austria.

Additionally, proof of examinations are required to receive the full entitlement to childcare allowance (Kinderbetreuungsgeld). This means the pass should be taken to every maternity-related appointment, as recommended by the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse.

How is the Mutter-Kind-Pass being reformed?

On Wednesday 16th November, Minister for Women and Family Affairs Susanne Raab (ÖVP) and Minister of Health Johannes Rauch (Greens) announced a reform of the Mutter-Kind-Pass.

The most notable change will be a transition from the paper booklet to a digital app in 2024, as well as new services and a name change to the Eltern-Kind-Pass (Parent-Child-Pass).

Raab said: “In addition to the services in the area of ​​health care, we will introduce parent advice, which should be a compass for the new phase of life for new parents.”

The new services will include counselling, an extra consultation with a midwife, an additional ultrasound, hearing screenings for newborns, nutritional and health advice, and multilingual information in digital form.

Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

In the future, parents-to-be and new parents will also be offered parenting advice when they have their first child, for example on the compatibility of employment and childcare, on the division of parental leave or on the effects of part-time work on pensions.

“The mother-child pass has been an essential part of maternal and child health in Austria for decades. Now we have managed together to further develop this important instrument in a contemporary form”, said Rauch.

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The implementation of the parent-child passport is a comprehensive, multi-year project and will begin with digitisation from next year.

The annual budget for the Mutter-Kind-Pass is currently €62 million and an additional €10 million from EU funds has been allocated to cover the cost of the reforms. 

However, there have been debates in recent months about the general cost of the pass. 

As a result there are ongoing negotiations between insurance companies and the Medical Association about the reimbursement of fees for providing healthcare and examinations.

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Der Standard reports that the Medical Association is threatening to discontinue the Mutter-Kind-Pass at the end of the year if an agreement on doctors fees cannot be reached. If that were to happen, expectant mothers would have to pay for examinations.

Currently, doctors receive €18.02 per examination and the Association is calling for an 80 percent increase.

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For members


Five things you should know if you need a dentist in Austria

While living in Austria, it is easy to find high-quality dental care - but there's a few key things you should know.

Five things you should know if you need a dentist in Austria

Health insurance covers basic things

All Austrian residents receive a personal E-card, the European Health Insurance Card. This card is all you need to make medical appointments in Austria, including visits to the dentist. Visitors in the country can also access dental care, but it is common for them to pay upfront at the clinic and later submit the receipt to their insurance or travel insurance company to claim the cost back.

In Austria, basic dental treatments are covered by state care and include check-ups, x-ray images, amalgam fillings and orthodontic treatments for children. For most other procedures, you will have to pay. Each region in Austria organizes its own health and dental care offerings. This means that for more extensive treatments and specialized care, it can be necessary to travel to bigger cities such as Vienna or Graz.

It may be important to take into consideration that the advertising regulations of the Austrian Dental Association prohibit dentists from publishing prices for services. This means that you will only know how much a treatment costs after an examination by a dentist. In general, this is because every procedure is different and adapted to each individual.

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English-speaking dentists

Most Austrian dentists speak good English, but it is more likely to find one of them in a city, than in the countryside. To make sure that the dentist you visit speaks good English, or maybe another desired language, it is good to look them up online in advance. Searching online make it easy to find dental clinics or individual dentists in your area.

Many clinics list the languages spoken by their employees. Websites like DocFinder or Herold are commonly used in Austria to find this kind of information.

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Private dental care

Private dental care in Austria runs separately from the public healthcare system. Choosing private dental care typically comes with more flexibility and you can receive additional services that are not covered by public insurance.

Private dental care often includes a wider range of services compared to basic public coverage. This can include specialized treatment, cosmetic dental care and a more extensive selection of dental procedures. Private care may also offer other advantages such as treatments with the latest technology, advanced forms of treatments and less waiting times to increase comfort.

The cost of private dental care depends on whether you want coverage outside of Austria as well as inside; together with the extent of treatments you wish to cover. In general, private dental care usually includes higher costs, and patients often need to pay for the services out-of-pocket. The costs vary based on the specific treatment and the dentist’s fees.

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Going to Hungary and Romania are popular alternatives

Hungary is the most popular destination for dental tourists from Austria.

Over the last decades, prices for dental care in Western Europe have increased and thereby created a market for high-quality dental care at an affordable price in other places. Hungary is often a cheaper alternative for some dental procedures, even if you include costs for accommodation and travel. The city of Sopron, just across the border from
Austria, has become a dental centre and many Austrian residents travel there for treatments.


The border town of Sopron in western Hungary lies within a renowned wine region. But the town itself has plenty of history on offer, including dental tourism. Photo: Pexels, Istvan Balogh

Hungarian dental clinics are known for maintain high standard of quality and expertise. The clinics are attracting patients in search of reliable and professional dental services. The country is known for offering a wide range of treatments, including implantology and cosmetic dentistry.

Many patients travel to Hungary for specific procedures or expertise not yet available in their country.

Lately, Romania is also becoming a more popular destination for Austrian dental tourism. It is mainly common for Austrians to travel to Romania for their expertise in implantology at affordable prices. In Romania, an implant costs around €450, while in Austria, an implant typically costs at least €1,500. Teeth whitening is also said to be way less expensive in Romania.

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Emergency dental care

If you have an emergency problem with your teeth, Austria offers emergency dental assistance all over the country. If you need emergency care, check with local dental practices to inquire about their availability for urgent issues.

Bigger cities often offer specific clinics for emergency dental assistance. In Vienna, for example, the Emergency Clinic of the University Clinic of Dentistry is open every day from 8:00 to 13:00, including weekends and holidays.

The clinic has an agreement with all major insurers in Austria and is thereby covered by your Austrian social security insurance. It is important to take into consideration that many students work in this clinic and that the quality of the treatments can wary.

In critical cases, especially if you experience significant swelling or pain, you can contact the emergency medical services (Rettungsdienst) by calling 144. They will provide guidance and transportation to the hospital if needed.

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