e-card Your e-card represents more than just a health insurance certificate in cheque card form. It provides you with admission to the health care system and, if you have activated it as a citizen card, you can use it to access all e-government services. Patients, doctors, employers and the social security organisations themselves all derive benefits from the e-card system.

Since the introduction of the e-card system throughout Austria in 2005, a nationwide electronic platform has been in place through which it has become possible to offer numerous other e-health services, such as automatic approval of prescriptions requiring senior consultant authorisation (“Arzneimittel-Bewillingungs-Service”, ABS for short), the e-medication safety system (“Arzneimittel-Sicherheitsgurt”), generation of electronic invalidity certificates and electronic patient referrals. The e-card system has resulted in the establishment of a closely interconnected network linking all aspects of the Austrian health care system, at the same time forming the infrastructure for a series of innovative follow-up projects.

The core component of the whole system is the e-card itself. It stores only limited personal data on the holder, such as their name, title and insurance number. It acts as a “key card” and can be compared with the key to a safe. It enables the holder or authorised third parties (such as doctors) to access applications, services and data. The doctor requires a second “key” in the form of an authorisation card - in this case their practice card or “Ordinationskarte”.