The Court of Auditors has criticized the corona policy of the federal and state governments in Austria. This is chaotic and confusing. A rough report available to the APA shows: At the beginning of the pandemic, there was not much coordination between the bodies.
It was not clear to the federal government from which sources the federal states collected their data. There was no overview of the protective equipment available.
Court of Auditors criticism in connection with Corona
The Court of Auditors has German criticism of the variety of numbers on Covid indicators that the public was supplied with. The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of the Interior and the federal states publish on their dashboards or websites daily “in different formats at different times data with different evaluation times and different levels of detail, sometimes also differ in their definition”, write the inspectors. According to the data, this affected the public’s trust in the authorities and, as a result, also damaged the acceptance of the pandemic measures.
Both in hospital law and in general social security law there was a lack of suitable regulations for crises and disasters. Health planning has also shown no precautions. “At the beginning of the pandemic, it was unclear who was responsible for measures to adapt the health system in the event of a pandemic.”
Court of Auditors sees failure
The Court of Auditors also notes that in summer 2020 they failed to equip contact tracing with sufficient staff to be able to break the chain of infection even with high numbers of infections.
The examiners also criticize the lack of surveys on consequential damage due to postponed operations and reduced contacts with doctors. “It was also critical that there was no concept for accompanying research into the long-term consequences of a Covid-19 disease, consequential damage due to restricted services during the Covid-19 pandemic or for a changed needs of the population, for example due to postponed operations. “
Court of Auditors through the Ministry of Health
The Epidemiological Reporting System (EMS), an electronic register for the entry of infectious diseases, has been in place since 2009 and is basically also suitable for entering cases of infection. However, the Ministry of Health has not managed to further develop the functions of the EMS for safe monitoring of Covid cases, according to the Court of Auditors. So it is not possible to record in the EMS how the health status of an infected person, including the hospitalization and recovery findings, develops over time, especially since there are no interfaces to the IT systems of the hospitals. “The application of the EMS to the Covid-19 pandemic remains unclear on some points, in particular with regard to the monitoring of the isolation measures and the course of the disease.”
“The federal states implement the nationwide uniform epidemic law through different work processes and IT instruments”, the RH continues. The federal states sometimes interpret the requirements from the Ministry of Health differently. “That made it difficult to interpret the expected data.”
Advice from the Court of Auditors
The Court of Auditors recommends the further development of the EMS, in particular with regard to the documentation of the course of illnesses and the monitoring of segregation measures and the obligation to register. In addition, the federal states and the federal government are to standardize and synchronize their data collection. Further requirements are to be created for the stockpiling of protective equipment and medical devices.
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