St. Veit im Pongau celebrates official go-ahead for a family-oriented pediatric rehabilitation facility in Austria

5/26/2017
26.5.2017 Spatenstich Kinderreha St. Veit

St. Veit im Pongau celebrates official go-ahead for a family-oriented pediatric rehabilitation facility in Austria 

  • Main Association and VAMED/SALK sign service contract, groundbreaking ceremony takes place
  • St. Veit im Pongau becomes largest rehabilitation site in Salzburg
  • Governor Haslauer: Health secures 1,700 jobs in St. Veit, Schwarzach and Goldegg

 Salzburg/St. Veit Today, in St. Veit im Pongau (Salzburg), the official go-ahead was given for a family-oriented pediatric rehabilitation facility. This first-time proposal in Austria will be implemented in a competence partnership between leading healthcare provider VAMED and the Salzburg Regional Hospitals (SALK). At a festive event on Friday, the service contract was signed together with the Main Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions. At the subsequent groundbreaking ceremony, VAMED and SALK presented the first plans for the new pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation facility.  The two partners are investing around 13 million euros in the new facility. From spring 2018, rehabilitation places for 32 children and adolescents with cancer and metabolic diseases, as well as up to 50 relatives, will be available as part of the family-oriented rehabilitation facility in St. Veit im Pongau.  Salzburg's Governor Dr. Wilfried Haslauer: “Pediatric and adolescent medicine has always been a special priority for Salzburg. With the new family-oriented pediatric rehabilitation facility in St. Veit, we are providing a much-needed expansion of the Austrian healthcare system and simultaneously creating an important boost for the region. In the three sun-terrace municipalities of St. Veit, Schwarzach and Goldegg alone, 1,700 jobs have already been created in the health sector in the past decades. With the pediatric rehabilitation facility, another 40 full-time jobs will be added.”  Dr. Ernst Wastler, CEO of VAMED AG: “The new family-oriented pediatric rehabilitation facility in St. Veit is very important to me personally. We are constantly working to find even better solutions, together with our partners. I am delighted that we can use our worldwide expertise as a leading healthcare provider, together with SALK, for the benefit of our young patients.”

Dr. Alexander Biach, Chairman of the Main Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions: “The introduction of the pediatric rehabilitation facility in Austria is a special milestone for the social security institutions and those insured by them. Starting next year, affected families will no longer have to go abroad if they need rehabilitation for their children. Children and adolescents have the greatest potential to partially or fully recover, even after a serious illness or operation, and have a normal working life later on. Therefore, we have ensured that they will quickly and unbureaucratically receive approval for optimal aftercare.” Deputy Governor and Health Council Member Dr. Christian Stöckl: “Personalized medicine and successful aftercare are becoming increasingly important due to the rapid progress in healthcare. With the groundbreaking ceremony for the new family-oriented rehabilitation facility in St. Veit, we are optimally adapting Salzburg's medical care to these new requirements. St. Veit im Pongau is receiving its third rehabilitation facility, in addition to the medical-psychiatric and oncological rehabilitation, and thus becoming the largest rehabilitation site in Salzburg.” One of the most modern pediatric and adolescent rehab hospitals in Europe is being builtThe new pediatric rehabilitation hospital will be open to all affected public health patients from all over Austria. Every year, almost 300 children and adolescents in Austria fall ill with cancer. Staying in the hospital for often months at a time can not only affect the child, but also the parents and siblings. In the case of oncology patients, it is envisaged that the whole family will be involved in the rehabilitation and thus the concept of family-oriented rehabilitation will be implemented.  The new facility will be one of the most modern pediatric and adolescent rehab hospitals in Europe, architecturally, medically and therapeutically. The comprehensive rehabilitation program will take physical, psychological and social aspects into consideration. This includes nursery school visits or school lessons as well as comprehensive leisure activities, and an adjoining sports field and park area. Thus, VAMED and SALK are creating an attentive environment, which should allow affected families to get back to their lives with renewed strength. Pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation in St. Veit im Pongau

University Professor Dr. Wolfgang Sperl emphasizes: “The Salzburg University Hospital for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine is a key university facility with all sub-specialties - particularly those that are necessary for the indication groups of hematology/oncology and metabolism as part of the pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation in St. Veit im Pongau. Therefore, our hospital can be extensively integrated into the care concept or provide a medical backup. In the field of congenital metabolic disorders, it is one of four pediatric metabolic centers with supra-regional competence. The specialist know-how of the entire metabolic team at the Salzburg pediatric hospital and the Orphan Disease focus - together with the Institute for Rare Diseases of the Paracelsus Medical Private University (PMU) - are thus available to the metabolic patients at St. Veit.

Furthermore, the hospital has had good experiences in pediatric rehabilitation, because the early neuro-rehabilitation facility reKIZ at the Salzburg University Hospital for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine was established seven years ago and takes care of children and adolescents with serious illnesses and accidents resulting in injuries to the brain and nervous system. An exchange of experiences and also rotations, for example, in the care sector are planned for the new facility in St. Veit.”

In the field of hematology/oncology, the children's center in Salzburg is one of five Austrian pediatric hematology-oncology centers and is linked with the St. Anna Children’s Hospital/Vienna General Hospital in terms of diagnostics and treatment.

Cooperation with the Paracelsus Medical Private University (PMU)

PMU Rector, University Professor Dr. Herbert Resch: “The Paracelsus Medical Private University has planned a cooperation with the pediatric rehabilitation hospital in St. Veit. As part of the university training, PMU students in pediatrics have the opportunity to complete a placement in the rehabilitation facility; this is also available as an elective in the 5th year of study. The integration of rehabilitative science is also important, whereby regular dissertation topics should be offered. Particular aspects arise within the framework of the PMU institute for “Rehabilitation, Palliation and Transition in Childhood and Adolescence” (Endowed Professorship with PD. Dr. Gerhard Kluger, Schön Klinik Vogtareuth since 2014).” In addition to the topics of rehabilitative science, there are numerous possibilities for cooperation with the oncological rehabilitation facility for adults at the St. Veit im Pongau site.

Cooperation with the Austrian Children's Cancer Aid

For years, the Austrian Children's Cancer Aid has been supporting the idea of a qualitative family-oriented rehabilitation facility for children and adolescents with oncological diseases. At present, only a very small proportion of affected families are offered family-oriented rehabilitation in Germany. An important concern of the Children’s Cancer Aid is the continuous supply chain of inpatient stays, rehabilitation and psychosocial aftercare as well as their adequate financing. With the construction of the rehabilitation center for children and adolescents in St. Veit im Pongau and the family-oriented rehabilitation hospital for oncology patients and their relatives, a new milestone is set.

Initiative for pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation in Austria

Thanks to the great dedication of the parents’ association “Initiative for pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation in Austria” under Markus Wieser, a lot of support was given, both on a ministerial level and a state political level, for the implementation of a pediatric rehabilitation facility in accordance with the quality criteria that were worked out in Working Group 4 of the Austrian Health Dialog for children. The “Initiative for pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation in Austria” has also placed particular emphasis on ensuring that families with hematological-oncological diseases, in particular, are adequately cared for in a family-oriented Austrian pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation facility. The initiative for pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation in Austria has set itself the goal of supporting future-oriented rehabilitation facilities. Special emphasis was also placed on the quality criteria required for this in the WG 4. VAMED and SALK - pioneers in rehabilitation and oncologyWith the Sonnberghof in Bad Sauerbrunn (Burgenland) (opened in 2009) and the oncological rehabilitation center (opened in 2014) in St. Veit im Pongau, VAMED pioneered the aftercare of cancer patients. The Salzburg University Hospital and SALK are the Austrian pioneers in cancer research and treatment. Since 2010, the university hospital has also operated a pediatric neuro-rehabilitation unit, which provides unique aftercare for children and adolescents after serious illnesses and accidents resulting in injuries to the brain and nervous system. VAMED has a 76 percent stake and SALK has a 24 percent stake in the construction and operating company for the new pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation facility in St. Veit. VAMED and SALK are investing around 13 million euros in the new facility. The financing partner is Raiffeisen-Leasing GmbH. Completion is planned for spring 2018.

About VAMED

VAMED was founded in 1982 and has since developed into a leading global provider for hospitals and other facilities in healthcare. The Group has already implemented more than 800 projects in 79 countries on four continents. The portfolio ranges from project development, planning and turnkey construction to maintenance, technical, commercial and infrastructural services to overall operational management in health care facilities.

With its offer, VAMED covers all areas of healthcare from prevention and health tourism to acute care to rehabilitation and care. In addition, VAMED is the leading private provider of rehabilitation services and VAMED Vitality World is the largest operator of thermal and health resorts in Austria. In 2016, the VAMED Group had around 17,400 employees and a business volume of 1.6 billion euros worldwide.

Press contact

Prok. Mag. Ludwig BICHLER, MBA Corporate Spokesman

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