Gastroenterological and hepatological care is of great importance in the Austrian health system due to the disease burden involved. Colon cancer, for example, is the third most common cancer in Austria and “diseases of the digestive system” are among the five most common main diagnoses that require hospitalization (BMASGK, 2019; Statistics Austria, 2020). Nevertheless, gastroenterological-hepatological care in Austria has so far been little studied and there are hardly any specific guidelines or planned values for this subject in the Austrian Health Structure Plan (ÖSG). The subject “Internal Medicine” is only planned as a whole, which no longer corresponds to today's degree of specialization.
The aim of the present study is to help close this research gap. With the help of qualitative and quantitative methods, the current status of gastroenterological-hepatological care in Austria is to be analyzed and evaluated and the future need for gastroenterologists estimated. In addition, the need that is relevant to care should also be examined, whereby it should be clarified in particular how the care should ideally be designed.