Without health, all is nothing.
Without health, all is nothing. This is especially noticeable when you feel unhealthy. The Med Center Traun, which we built, will open at STZ Weidfeld in early 2023. The center will provide comprehensive medical care for the people of Traun on around 3,000 square meters of barrier-free space, all under one roof. At its heart is the primary care center, which offers a broad spectrum of services covered by social health insurance. The range of medical services is supplemented by an extensive array of elective medical and therapy options, a pharmacy, and a medical supplies store. We asked the project’s initiator, Dr. Johann Jagersberger for an interview.
Dr. Jagersberger, how did you arrive at the idea to start a medical center with an integrated primary care center?
I run a “classic” family doctor practice together with my wife that has been in operation for three generations. We have been seeing a sharp increase in patient numbers in recent years, and the trend is growing. Our colleagues in Traun and all through Austria are experiencing the same thing. It was clear that all of us would reach our capacity limits sooner rather than later, and that we would never be able to solve the problem as “lone fighters”. This gave birth to the idea of providing care together in a larger “doctor’s office” setting.
What characterizes a primary care center?
The fact that a broad range of medical services are united under one roof, combined with opening hours that would simply never be possible in a one-person practice. Patients now have access to comprehensive care provided by physicians who are part of the social health insurance network—everything from diagnosis to urgent care and therapy. This interdisciplinary collaboration between multiple health and social professions—we have general practitioners and paediatricions on our team along with social workers, speech therapists, ergotherapists, physiotherapists, dieticians, and a full nursing staff—not only saves time, but in many cases also speeds up the healing process. In addition, we are now also able to offer extended opening hours, which provides clear added value for patients.
How do you and your team benefit from this?
We no longer have to survive as lone wolves. Working in a team allows us to exchange ideas, which is a great deal more enjoyable and interesting. Having an interdisciplinary view of the bigger picture also makes it possible for us to treat our patients holistically. The structure also makes it easier to plan work schedules, which in turn enables us to more easily find a balance of family, work, and leisure time. Administrative tasks and business-related aspects of the work will also be reduced in the long term—once everything has been fine-tuned—enabling us to concentrate even more on health issues.
Will primary care centers replace single practices in the future?
No, there will still be both, depending on location, among other things: larger care centers are possible in larger cities, and would make no sense in rural areas. There will always be a need for both.
A health park operated by the Sisters of Mercy will also be integrated into the Med Center Traun. What can patients expect?
The health park, which will open on the second floor in early summer, will provide an expanded range of medical services that goes beyond primary care, including services offered by elective specialists and therapists. Two cardiologists and two psychiatrists have already joined and we currently still have space available for interested physicians. Our goal is to provide patients with services from all fields.
Just a few weeks before the grand opening—how are you doing?
Well, I’m quite well organized in terms of time but the list of administrative to-dos that still need attention is long. Very long. At the same time, however, it is wonderful to be able to help bring this “baby” into the world together with my team. I am very proud and brimming with excitement.
Now that your vision is almost fulfilled—what’s next?
Well, sticking with the baby analogy ... You don’t just have a child and that’s it. You have to raise the child through childhood and puberty as well, which in this case means making the Med Center Traun a health center that works in everyday life.
When you think about the past few years, about the time from vision to realization—what comes to mind?
New and old friendships, respect, a strong network, destiny, staying power. (Laughs.)
Dr. Jagersberger in 30 seconds
Dr. Jagersberger was inspired to become a doctor by his curiosity about how humans work. Practicing medecine is, for him, one of the greatest jobs there is. Because helping people is incredibly rewarding. When asked about the secret to staying healthy in old age, he replies with a smile that it is a “reasonable lifestyle”, although genetic luck also plays a big role. He finds his personal work-life balance out in nature, together with his children and family. He likes to ride his bike for everyday transport and sometimes can be seen jumping up to dance when a good rock-and-roll song comes on ...
We here at AVORIS are very happy with the first health center we ever built and are proud to be part of making something so important come true. Thank you Dr. Jagersberger for the interview, for your determination in pursuing the vision, and for the stroke of luck that brought us together on this project. We wish him and the whole team a wonderful start. Cheers to our health!
Photos: PVZ Traun, AVORIS