Medicine: Doctors on Strike

With one physician for every 612 people, Austria is one of the most carefully doctored countries in the world. But last week Vienna's 24 major hospitals (24,000 beds, usually full) turned away patients with such nonurgent complaints as gallstones and diseased tonsils. Reason: the 1,500 doctors who work full time for the hospitals were out on strike.

It was the biggest doctors' strike since the war to hit Austria's socialized medicine, which is 39 years old and covers 75% of the population. As before, the doctors wanted more money, and few healthy Viennese disputed their demands. The hospital physicians, who average only...

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