Pathologists are urgently needed in Lower Austria. There are currently 15 training places available in the provincial clinics, only five of which can be filled according to the Medical Association.
Histological findings prepared by pathologists are needed to determine how dangerous a cancer is. However, there are too few pathologists in Austria, warns the Austrian Society for Pathology.
Number of required findings increases
The president of the Lower Austrian Medical Association, Christoph Reisner, speaks to noe.ORF.at of a "tense situation". There are currently 31 doctors in the field of pathology in Lower Austria. According to Reisner, others are urgently needed because the number of operations and thus also the number of necessary findings is increasing more and more.
The first consequence of the increasing lack of pathologists in Lower Austria is that tissue samples for histological findings have to be outsourced to other hospitals or external laboratories because pathologists are missing in individual provincial hospitals.
High school graduates enthusiastic about pathology
About ten years ago, about 250,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in Austria. By 2016 there were already 350,000 people. "The diagnoses are made earlier. The therapies are working. The cancer mortality rate is decreasing," said Christa Freibauer, President of the Austrian Society for Clinical Pathology and Molecular Pathology (ÖGPath), head of the corresponding institute at the Mistelbach Hospital in Lower Austria, including the most modern Next-Generation-Sequencing-System (NGS) for the molecular characterisation of cancer cells, at a press conference held last week by the Austrian specialist society ÖGPath.
Rising cancer disease rates due to demographic development, more and longer survival of patients and scientific development would further increase the demands on pathology. Since the 1970s, the number of examinations has doubled. The Society of Pathologists wants to advertise its subject to high school graduates. In addition, there is a "Pathology Future Academy", which is intended to support specialists in training.