FAQ about MedAustron

    Do patients have to contact MedAustron directly, or can contact be established also by their relatives?

    While it is possible for relatives to contact us representative for a patient, the patient has to be informed about this in advance. We therefore need a signed declaration of consent from the patient. A template can be downloaded from our website under “Therapy > Inquiry”.

    How can patients and their relatives contact MedAustron?

    There are various ways to contact MedAustron and get more information on the treatment we offer. On the one hand, the attending physicians can communicate directly with our radiation oncology specialists. On the other hands, patients can directly contact us regarding their therapy inquiry via our website, via email to patient@medaustron.at or via telephone under +43 / 2622 / 26100 – 300.

    What types of cancer can be treated at MedAustron?

    Due to technological capabilities, we are currently still limited in treating specific illnesses. As we are continuing to expand our center, we will be able to treat more and more indications in the future. For a current overview of treatable indications at MedAustron, please refer to our website. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our medical team via patient@medaustron.at or +43 2622 / 26 100 300.

    Do I need a medical referral?

    Usually, a medical referral is not required. However, a tumor board decision is necessary if you have Austrian social security and want to apply for cost coverage at your health insurance provider.

    If your health insurance does not authorize your treatment but you are willing to cover the treatment costs yourself, your case will be presented within our internal tumor board (New Patients Board), where our Radiation Oncology Specialists will decide whether you are suitable for particle therapy or not.

    What happens after I submit my therapy inquiry?

    Do you have social security in Austria or the EU? In order to submit your application for cost coverage at your health insurance, you need to have a tumor board decision. Furthermore, your referring physician needs to provide you with a so-called physician’s letter, which contains your medical record. Based on these documents, our Radiation Oncology Specialists will present your case in the internal MedAustron tumor board (New Patients Board), and will decide whether you are suitable for particle therapy or not. As soon as approval is obtained, we will submit your application for cost coverage directly to your health insurance.

    If you do not have social security within the EU or are covering the treatment costs yourself, your medical records will be discussed and evaluated within the New Patients Board. As soon as approval is obtained, we will prepare your individual treatment offer. After signing your treatment contract, which includes the terms of payment, you can begin your therapy at MedAustron.

    How long are the waiting times before I can start my therapy?

    Once you have been accepted as a patient for particle therapy at MedAustron, you will be invited to your initial consultation. After this, your treatment has to be carefully planned before the actual irradiation can start.
    The current waiting time between the initial contact and the start of treatment is usually about 4 to 6 weeks, depending on whether all necessary examination results are available. In medical emergencies, this waiting time can be reduced.

    Are patients from abroad also treated at MedAustron?

    MedAustron’s capacity has been designed for up to 1,000 patients per year – after extensive evaluations of cancerous diseases in Austria. With that the medical coverage of Austrian patients, who primarily benefit from particle therapy, is guaranteed. Depending on the occupancy rate of the center, MedAustron also treats patients from abroad.

    How much does the treatment cost?

    There is no easy or universal answer to this question, since the costs are dependent on many factors, including the specific tumor indication of the patient.

    Are the treatment costs covered by health insurance?

    For patients who have Austrian social security, the treatment costs are generally covered by their health insurance if his/her tumor indication corresponds to the indication list of the Main Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions. For all other indications which are clinically justified to be treated at MedAustron, an individual authorization is necessary.

    Will supplementary insurance help me?

    Since there are numerous providers offering different kinds of supplementary insurance, there is no easy answer to this question. We highly recommend that you discuss this topic directly with your health insurance provider.

    How do I apply for cost coverage?

    The pre-requisite for your application for cost coverage with your health insurance is that your treatment has been authorized by a tumor board decision. After this authorization is obtained, MedAustron will submit the tumor board decision and your physician’s letter directly to your health insurance provider to apply for cost coverage.

    Can patients whose indication is not covered by their health insurance still receive treatment at MedAustron if they cover the treatment costs themselves?

    In this case, the patient’s medical record is presented within our internal tumor board (New Patients Board), where our Radiation Oncology Specialists decide whether the patient is suitable for particle therapy or not. If medically approved, the patient will receive an individual treatment offer from MedAustron. After signing the treatment contract, he/she can start his/her therapy at MedAustron.

    If I cover the treatment costs myself, do I have to pay the full amount in advance?

    If you permanently reside in Austria, a down payment of 20% of the total has to be made before the start of your therapy.
    If you permanently reside outside the EU, a down payment of 50% of the total has to be made before the start of your therapy.

    Where can I live during the treatment?

    If you have Austrian social security and your treatment costs are covered by your health insurance: depending on the distance between your place of residence and MedAustron, you might be provided with an accommodation close to MedAustron for which you only have to pay a deductible. Your Patient Care Coordinator will contact you during your initial consultation to support you in all matters regarding accommodation and transportation.
    Please note: if you do not want to make use of the provided accommodation, you have to cover the total costs for your privately organized accommodation.

    If you do not have Austrian social security or are paying for the therapy yourself: in cooperation with the Wiener Alpen tourism agency, MedAustron has selected a number of particularly suitable accommodation options near our center which offer special prices for our patients. These accommodations range from private rooms and hotels to apartments and guest houses in Wiener Neustadt and its surroundings, as well as Baden and Vienna. If you need help in finding the ideal accommodation for your stay, your Patient Care Coordinator will gladly assist you.

    Do I have to take care of finding an accommodation myself?

    If you have Austrian social security and the treatment costs are covered by your health insurance: if you make use of the provided accommodation, MedAustron will directly make the booking for you

    For all other patients, MedAustron, our colleagues from the Wiener Alpen tourism agency as well as the colleagues of the fee-based MATS-Service will gladly support you in finding a suitable accommodation for the duration of your therapy. In this case, the booking has to made by you.

    If I book my own accommodation, can I only pay the deductible?

    If you have Austrian social security and your treatment costs are covered by your health insurance: MedAustron has particular contractors that provide accommodation for you. If you stay in these accommodations, the costs for your stay are covered and you only have to pay a deductible.
    If you decide against staying in the provided accommodation, you have to cover the total costs for your privately organized accommodation.

    For patients from the EU the respective provisions of your health care provider apply. In general, however, patients who do not have Austrian social security or are covering the treatment costs themselves also have to cover the costs for accommodation themselves.

    What are the transportation options to/from MedAustron?

    A route map to MedAustron is provided on our website under “contact”. You can reach us with public transportation using a combination of train and bus, or via the suburban train from Vienna (S80). We also cooperate with cab and rental car agencies which offer our patients special conditions. If you take a private car to MedAustron, you can park directly in front of our center on our complimentary parking lot.

    Do I have to pay for transportation to/from MedAustron myself?

    If you have Austrian social security, the treatment costs are covered by your health insurance and your health insurance has authorized your consignment note prior to the start of your treatment: if the daily commute to MedAustron is inacceptable based on the distance to your place of residence, your patient transportation service will process payment directly with your health care provider.
    If your daily commute to MedAustron is acceptable: you will be directly charged with the costs for your patient transportation. In order to receive a refund from your health insurance provider, you have to submit all receipts, proofs of payment and the consignment note issued by us

    If you do not have Austrian/EU social security or are covering the costs for your treatment yourself: the transportation costs to and from MedAustron have to be covered by yourself.

    Does MedAustron issue consignment notes?

    If an ambulance service is medically necessary, your general practitioner will issue you a consignment note.

    I am a patient from abroad. Can I book my return flight for the last day of my treatment?

    The scheduled end of your treatment may be postponed due to several reasons, including cancellations, delays or illnesses. Therefore, we highly recommend that you allow at least 3 days between the end of your treatment and your return flight. Generally, you should discuss your travel plans with your attending physician in advance.

    What do I have to bring along to my first appointment at MedAustron?

    Please bring:

    • medical record and examination results
    • existing CT/MRI images
    • photo ID
    • e-card or insurance card
    • if available: implant ID card

    For the daily treatment session, you only need to bring your e-card or insurance card, and the patient bracelet which you will receive at the start of your therapy.

    How long does the therapy take?

    The duration of a single irradiation (fraction) is depending on the size and position of the tumor. Most patients will be in the treatment room for a total of 30 minutes. However, a daily irradiation unit can take up to 60 minutes. Depending on how many fractions are necessary to apply the complete dose, the treatment may take between one and nine weeks.

    How often do I have to come for the treatment?

    The duration of the treatment is depending on the size and position of your tumor. Applying the whole dose – divided in different fractions – can take between one and nine weeks. Our experts will inform you on your individual treatment duration in the course of your initial consultation and treatment planning.

    Will I feel the beam?

    The beam itself is invisible, odor- and noiseless and you can’t feel it. However, in some patients it can trigger a metallic taste sensation.

    Will I be alone in the treatment room?

    Patients are only alone in the treatment room for the actual irradiation. Medical staff – our radiation technologist (RT) – will accompany you into the irradiation room. When all preparations are completed, the RT switches to a control room outside the irradiation room. From there the room itself as well as all systems can be monitored and the RT can intervene quickly if necessary.

    How will I feel during the therapy? What side effects can I expect?

    Compared to conventional radiotherapy, particle therapy is usually accompanied by significantly less side effects. Nevertheless, also this form of therapy could cause some ailments over time. In most cases, these include side effects typical for radiation therapy and are heavily dependent on the irradiated area. Common side effects include fatigue, drowsiness, localized skin changes and irritation of mucous membranes. Acute side effects typically only last a couple of weeks. In any case, please let your radiation oncologist know of any and all side effects which you might experience.

    Do I have to be under anesthesia for the treatment?

    Anesthesia is only necessary to immobilize and position small children.

    Do I need to fast before the immobilization, CT or MRI examinations?

    Please refer directly to your radiation oncologist.

    Will I be able to drive a car during my treatment period?

    Occasionally, your illness or the radiation therapy may have a negative impact on your roadworthiness. Therefore, please refer this question directly to your radiation oncologist.

    Will I be able to wash my hair during my treatment period?

    In case you are treated in the head and neck area, you may use mild baby shampoos. However, please refer this question directly to your radiation oncologist.

    What happens if I forget my e-card (Austrian insurance card)?

    Generally, we kindly ask you to bring along your e-card to every appointment. If you forget to bring your card, we can make a one-off exception.

    Will a cancelled irradiation session be rescheduled?

    In case one of your treatment sessions has to be cancelled, a new appointment will be scheduled at the end of your planned treatment period, therefore prolonging it. When we plan your treatment, we will already take general days on which no patient treatments can take place (e.g. due to maintenance work) into account.

    Will you take my preferences into account when scheduling my irradiation sessions?

    The individual treatment sessions are scheduled by our Radiation Technologists according to the availability of our treatment rooms and times. If you have specific preferences, please let our team know. We will try our best to accommodate your wishes.

    What are the reasons for delays during my treatment session?

    Irradiation therapy, and especially particle therapy, is a highly complex technology. It necessitates many work steps and safety procedures to ensure your safety at all times. Even the slightest deviation leads to elaborate safety tests, which in turn can occasionally cause delays. Your safety and health are our top priorities, which is why the treatment will only continue if all requirements are met 100%. Therefore, we kindly ask you for your understanding in case you are affected by a delay.

    Why is another patient called in first even though I have been waiting longer?

    Occasionally it could happen that a patient is called in for her/his treatment session before you, even though you have been in the waiting area longer. Often, this is caused by the fact that we are treating in two irradiation rooms. Since we cannot treat simultaneously in both rooms, and each room offers different functionalities, the order of patients may not always be chronological.

    What do I have to do if I’m scheduled for an after-care checkup, but couldn’t get an MRI appointment in time

    Please refer directly to your radiation oncologist.

    Can I bring the results of a former blood test?

    Generally, we can accept blood test results if they are not older than 4 to 8 weeks. Please refer directly to your radiation oncologist in case of doubt.

    What are the particles made of?

    The particles used at MedAustron (protons and carbon ions) are either nuclei of the hydrogen atom (that only consists of one single proton) or the heavier carbon ions (which consist of 6 protons and 6 neutrons in the nucleus). To produce either hydrogen- or carbon ions, the atomic shell of the particles must be removed (ionization). Basic material is either carbon dioxide CO2 or hydrogen gas H2. The gas is heated to extremely high temperature. By this, the atoms collide with very high velocity and thereby pull the electrons from the shell. This condition of the gas is called plasma. The positively charged ions can be divided from the negatively charged electrons by an electrical field and accelerated in the next steps of the accelerator chain.

    What is the difference between protons and carbon ions?

    Protonen werden aus Wasserstoffgas H2 gewonnen, Kohlenstoffionen aus Kohlendioxid CO2. Die physikalischen Eigenschaften von Protonen und Kohlenstoffionen sind ähnlich, doch weisen die Kohlenstoffionen eine deutlich höhere, sog. „biologische Wirksamkeit“ auf.

    Is Particle Therapy suitable for any kind of cancer

    Particle Therapy helps patients with localized malign tumors – especially when the tumor is placed close to risk organs (like the brain stem or the optical nerve) or if the tumor can’t be irradiated with a sufficiently high dose with conventional radiation therapy. In those cases, particle therapy offers clear advantages compared to the conventional radiation therapy. A treatment with particles is – with some exceptions – not sensible if metastases have already formed.

    Why aren’t all patients treated with Particle Therapy instead of conventional radiation therapy?

    Not in every case a treatment with Particle Therapy is necessary or patients would benefit from this kind of irradiation.

    Will only cancer be treated at MedAustron or can other diseases be treated, too?

    Particle Therapy at MedAustron is used to treat cancer. It is often also suitable for treating benign but locally aggressive tumors.

    Can Particle Therapy cure cancer?

    Local tumor control is the base and condition for healing. For the indications that are being treated at MedAustron, a higher irradiation dose will increase the chances of local tumor control. Particle therapy can significantly improve the prospects of success for radio-resistant tumors or tumors in difficult anatomical positions. In cases in which the same irradiation dose is used when applied particle therapy than would be used when applying conventional therapy, the goal of the treatment is to reduce possible side effects.

    How do I apply at MedAustron?

    You found an interesting job offer on our website or you simply want to send us an unsolicited application? You can directly upload your application by using our online application tool. Please submit your application by clicking „Apply“ in the selected job advertisement.

    What documents should my application include?

    In order to process your application comprehensively, please provide us with the following documents:

    • Curriculum vitae
    • Letter of motivation: Why do you want to work at MedAustron, and why are you the right person for the job?
    • Certificates and references: If possible, please summarize your certificates and references in a single, clearly structured file and upload the documents as Word or PDF files.

    Please send us the application documents in the language of the job advertisement.

    Who is my point of contact at MedAustron for recruiting?

    If you have any questions regarding our vacancies or your application, please contact Ms. Sophie Schimpl, BA by telephone via +43 (0) 2622/26100-154.

    Can I submit an unsolicited application?

    You can upload your unsolicited application at any time via the job advertisement “Unsolicited application” on our online application tool. Please specify the area for which you are applying, your preferred working hours and your possible start date. We are looking forward to receiving your application, and are happy to keep it on file.

    Does MedAustron offer internships?

    Yes, MedAustron offers several internship opportunities in the technical and administrative fields. If you are interested in doing an internship, please upload your CV and motivational letter via our online application tool and provide us with information about the area in which you would like to do an internship and the time-frame in which you can do the internship.

    Can I do an apprenticeship at MedAustron?

    At the moment, we do not train apprentices at MedAustron.

    What happens to my application after I have submitted it?

    After submitting your application you will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail. We will review your application carefully to match it with the job requirement. If your profile meets the requirements of the advertised position, we will invite you to an interview (in person or via Skype) in which colleagues from the corresponding department as well as from Human Resources will participate. The interview will include your CV, technical questions relating to the position and your motivation to apply for the advertised position. In case your profile does not meet the requirements of the advertised position, we will of course provide you with appropriate feedback.

    How can I withdraw my application or delete my online profile?

    You can always withdraw your application after logging in, selecting the job you want to withdraw the application for, and clicking the "Withdraw"-button. If you would like to delete your entire profile, please contact your recruiter.

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