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2003 until 2005: Development of a Comprehensive Health Promotion and Prevention Strategy for the Austrian Social Insurance

The project was commissioned by the umbrella organisation of the Austrian social insurance companies in order to analyse and critically appraise the current situation of health promotion/prevention activities within the social insurance companies, analyse preventive potentials according to routine data, define health promotion/prevention targets and to develop a coordinated comprehensive health promotion/prevention strategy including an implementation scenario for the Austrian social insurance for the coming years.
Results show that the majority of health promotion/prevention projects have had no prior needs assessment, no target setting and no evaluation structure. The majority of the Austrian population does not experience the social insurance as a provider of health promotion and prevention. During the process of priority and target setting, the definition of success criteria and description of health promotion and prevention strategies and became obvious that issues of capacity building inside the Austrian social insurance will be crucial. Therefore, the project team set targets for the fields of organisational and workforce development, resource allocation, partner- and leadership. Especially these targets caused exciting discussions in the consensus phase, when politics met science.
Conclusions: Target setting, programme planning and evaluation in health promotion and prevention within the Austrian social insurance need a professional update. A comprehensive strategy including capacity building, social marketing should be developed and future health promotion and prevention activities should be well coordinated. A professional health observatory system has to be developed and implemented inside the Austrian Social Insurance. Capacity building inside the Austrian social insurance will be crucial to meet the aims and objectives set by the strategy.

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