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Austrian Ambulances: Pay As You Go?

By Wyatt Earp | January 30, 2010

Austria is now implementing an ingenious tactic to cut down on health care deadbeats. Trust me, you are not going to believe this. Note to the Ambulance Driver: Here’s your next

VIENNA – On a ski holiday to Austria, remember to bring your boots, your hat and — on the off-chance you might break a leg — your bank card.

A German tourist who injured himself while skiing in the Tyrolean Alps this month said he was asked to swipe his bank card before he could be treated, local radio ORF reported Friday.

“During the ambulance ride, the crew started pushing buttons and then they said: ‘Sorry but we have to charge you 230 euros (320 dollars) now,’” said the 45-year-old holidaymaker from Berlin.

Austrian emergency services defended the measure, saying it was often difficult to track down payment from foreign tourists once they had returned home.

That’s swell, but I wonder what they do when they transport gunshot victims?

Topics: Snarkasm | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Austrian Ambulances: Pay As You Go?”

  1. Old NFO Says:
    January 30th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Swipe it themselves??? After ‘extracting’ it from said victim’s wallet?

  2. Bloviating Zeppelin Says:
    January 30th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Great idea. I think WE should charge foreign tourists and the money should go to the COUNTY in which the ride occurs. Gunshot victims? Quick pat-down for rolls of cash, particularly if they’re banging.


  3. RT Says:
    January 30th, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Novel idea…charge illegal residents for the same.

    However, I thought healthcare was free in Europe. /snark

  4. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 30th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Old NFO – Yeah, you’re probably right.

    BZ – It would work especially well.

    RT – First thing I thought: Illegals.

  5. Dennis Petty, aka MUD Says:
    January 31st, 2010 at 11:32 am

    As soon as the ambulance drivers/attendants figure out this scheme, the Police will start using it. No wait, there are Highway Patrolment that stop cars on I-70 now just to see how much money they can confiscate. Just last week the monthly gasoline bill was paid by one such stop. Even if the ticket is voided because the stop was illegal, the courts let the law enforcement agencies keep the money unless the driver can prove where he got it. Then the IRS kicks their butt. MUD