Allgemeines Krankenhaus (AKH):
Vienna′s General Hospital - Part II

Some history of the AKH: When the Altes AKH, the old hospital that was built mostly in the 18th century, failed to meet contemporary standards after WWII, a need for a modern facility developed. In 1957, the governments of Austria and the city of Vienna decided to build a new AKH. The construction was started in 1964 with some basic facilities. It took ten years until the construction of the main buildings was started in 1974. It then was delayed over and over again and the central building with the Bettentürme towers were fully available only in 1991! In 1994, the were officially opened.

Some facts and figures on how corrupt this thing really is: Originally, costs of one billion Austrian shillings were proposed - approximately 72,67 million Euros (to be fair, this was in the 1960ies). Today, estimates of the actual costs talk about 4.5 billion Euros (more than 60 times the original amount? Welcome to socialist wonderland Austria!). This "cost explosion" and several scandals that involved buildings cartels, influential lobbies and the cancer that rules Vienna, sorry, the wonderful politicians of this wonderful city, was a constant feature in the Austrian news throughout the 1980ies and made more than one politician to resign or quietly disappear into insignificance, often covered by his party.

Scandals & Corruption: Vienna General Hospital at its Best

The legendary journalist Alfred Worm became famous for digging up a lot of dirt at the construction site of the AKH. More? According to the business magazine "ECO", only 60 percent of the facilities of the AKH are actually being used - the remaining 40 percent are empty or inefficiently used, but fully equipped. The machine with the "ping"…

The costs for the construction and the maintenance of the AKH are covered by the City of Vienna and the Republic of Austria. What else is there to say about the AKH…oh, it is there to make sick people healthy. But I think this is only a marginal aspect to it.

Sightseeing attractions nearby include the Altes AKH, a 18th century campus hospital that is now used as a commercial and entertainment area (and for teaching). The Freud Museum in Berggasse and the Josephinum, the old school of surgery, are within walking distance. Palais Liechtenstein is not too far and a highlight among Vienna′s museums; the Volksoper is a opera house and only one stop further on the U6 subway line; another stop further you will see the Hundertwasser designs of the Müllverbrennungsanlage Spittelau. The Strudelhofstiege area and Liechtensteinstraße is good for walks - here you can find the studenty atmosphere that makes the 9th district of Alsergrund one of the most charming ones.

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Further Reading

Vienna General Hospital - Allgemeines Krankenhaus (AKH)

Very Good Article on the Vienna General Hospital on Wikipedia

Medical University of Vienna, Official Website