United cross-border health care provision Lower Austria – South Bohemian Region

In the region around Gmünd and České Velenice, the cooperation across the border is evident in how it facilitates people's daily lives. The Gmünd Regional Hospital is located directly on the Austrian-Czech border. The nearest ambulance on the Czech side is over 30 km away, and the nearest hospital is even 60 km away.

Through our previous projects, a cooperation between healthcare partners in Austria and the Czech Republic has already been developed. As part of "Healthacross for future", cross-border patient care with South Bohemia has been continued at the Gmünd Regional Hospital and expanded to include treatment options for the inpatient sector.

Furthermore, the first European cross-border healthcare center was planned and prepared as part of the project. Funding for its establishment was obtained from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The construction of the center was undertaken by the municipality of Gmünd. Groundbreaking took place in May 2019, and the construction is being financed through the Austrian Rural Development Program - LE14-20. On October 16, 2021, the first cross-border healthcare center in the Gmünd/Ceské Velenice region was opened. It offers a wide range of services, including health prevention, treatment by general practitioners, specialists, nursing experts, therapists, as well as providing facilities for training and events.

Project duration: 2017 - 2021

Funding program:  Interreg V-A AT-CZ 2014-2020


  • Cross-border patient care
  • Inpatient treatment of Czech patients at the Gmünd clinical centre
  • Testing the feasibility of sharing medical services between Austria and the Czech Republic
  • Sharing of knowledge between specialists in the health care sector
  • Planning and implementation of a cross-border health centre



More information

Previous projects

In 2008, Lower Austria established the "healthacross" project in collaboration with the South Bohemian region.

In the border region of Lower Austria and the South Bohemian region, the "shared" city of Gmünd/České Velenice makes the need for cooperation especially clear. The next emergency ambulance is 18 km away, and the next hospital 60 km. The Gmünd clinical centre is just a few hundred metres away from the border. The main focus of this project was the development of guidelines and a pilot study for cross-border health care facilities.


  • Report I: Guidelines for the cross-border provision of health care
  • Report II: Pilot study for cross-border inpatient and outpatient cooperation in the Gmünd and České Velenice area
  • The first major cross-border emergency drill with the involvement of the Gmünd clinical centre
  • Language courses
  • Dictionary for the emergency services

Lower Austria ran a follow-up project, "Healthacross in Practice", from 01/01/2012 to 31/03/2014 in collaboration with the South Bohemian region.

Once the legal and organisational requirements had been addressed, the main focus of the project was the practical implementation of cross-border health care provision, as well as working on any issues that could arise as a result of patients moving between Lower Austria and the Czech Republic. To begin with, a defined number of Czech patients received outpatient care at the Gmünd clinical centre. During the preparatory stage, it was necessary to agree a specific range of services and set outpatient times.

The pilot project was extremely successful, the services on offer were very sought-after and patients made the most of them.

Outpatient treatment of Czech patients continued even after the pilot project ended.

This project was chosen from 300 projects in the health care sector as one of the Best Practice examples at the Alpbach Forum 2015.


  • Presentation at the Alpbach Health Talks 2015
  • "Best Practice Project" at the ETZ Annual Conference 2013
  • "Best Practice for Social Cohesion" 2011
  • 2nd place European Health Award 2010
  • Nomination Dr. Erwin Pröll Futureprice 2008
  • 1. Platz EUREGIO Innovationspreis 2007

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