National examples of Health Impact Assessment and activities related to Health Impact Assessment


Health impact assessment to change the protection of non-smokers in gastronomy with extended protection of children and young persons

The government programme states that the Tobacco and Non-Smoking Protection Act, which has provided for smoke-free catering in Austria from May 2018, will be replaced by the continuation of a partial smoking ban in the gastronomy with extended protection of children and young persons. This HIA describes, compares and quantifies the expected benefits and harms of these two non-smoker protection regulations (amendment of the Tobacco and Non-Smokers Protection Act with extended protection of children and young persons vs. completely smoke-free gastronomy).

This HIA is the result of a cooperation with VIVID - Fachstelle für Suchtprävention with a group of experts from the HIA Network Styria. The implementation of this HIA was supported by the Austrian HIA Support Unit. The HIA report was published in April 2018.

The final report was reviewed in terms of quality assurance. The existing review tool of Ben Cave Associates and the recently published Quality Assurance Review Framework of the Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU) were used.

HIA on redesign of a public square in Kapfenberg (Styria)

The municipality of Kapfenberg commissioned “A&O Gesundheitsprojekte” to carry out this HIA as rapid HIA with a focus on the participation of the affected people. The HIA was conducted parallel to the ongoing planning of redesigning the square. The HIA was conducted from October 2013 to January 2014.

From March to June 2014, the redesign of the public square "Marktplatz Schirmitzbühel" was realized in consideration of the results of the HIA.

The municipality of Kapfenberg commissioned “A&O Gesundheitsprojekte” to evaluate the HIA in 2015.

Kindergartens as Family Centers (Vorarlberg)

Using a desk-based HIA, the health effects of a proposed expansion of kindergartens into family centres were evaluated for the city of Dornbirn in 2010.

Construction of a retirement home (Burgenland)

In 2010 a HIA was conducted in Southern Burgenland to analyse the construction of a retirement home. The aim was to implement this retirement home as health promoting as possible for future residents.

HIA on compulsory kindergarten education (federal level)

The Ministry of Health, the Main Association of Austrian Social Insurance Institutions and the department of health of the Styrian state government commissioned Gesundheit Österreich (GÖG) to conduct an HIA on compulsory kindergarten education in 2011/2012.

This HIA was conducted as comprehensive HIA. Health impacts were assessed for children, parents and staff in kindergarten. The assessment of health impacts was in particular done during an appraisal workshop with intersectoral participants. Health impacts were analysed for three scenarios: no compulsory kindergarten education, one year of compulsory kindergarten education and two years of compulsory kindergarten education.

The draft report was sent to relevant institutions for written statements. These statements were collected, reviewed and partly included in the report. All the statements were outlined in an own documentation report.

A team of the Danube University Krems (Department Evidence-Based Medicine And Clinical Epidemiology) performed an accompanying evaluation to the HIA. The international HIA expert Fiona Haigh reviewed the final HIA report.

HIA on all-day schools (federal level)

The “Institut für Gesundheitsförderung und Prävention” (IfGP) and “Styria Vitalis” conducted an HIA on all-day schools in Austria in 2013.

Aim of the HIA was to assess potential positive and negative health impacts on pupils aged 10 to 14 and to provide recommendations for the implementation.

The HIA started in January 2013, the final report was published in December 2013.

HIA on road building project: expansion of the road B68 (community level, Styria)

In 2015, the FH JOANNEUM conducted a rapid HIA on community level (municipality of Kirchberg an der Raab, Styria) to assess the health impacts of a road building project (relocation of the main route but also expansion of the road). This HIA was commissioned by the Styrian state government in cooperation with the municipality of Kirchberg an der Raab. Health impacts of the scenarios expansion versus no expansion of the road were assessed for different groups (inhabitants, industry, gastronomy, etc.) in particular in a workshop with intersectoral participants and recommendations for the realization of this project were deduced.

Desk-based HIA School Beverages (Upper Austria)

The Ministry of Health commissioned the HIA Support Unit (at GÖG) to conduct a desk-based HIA in 2015. This HIA was conducted in cooperation with the Upper Austrian regional health insurer.

A common strategy to reduce the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is reducing the availability of these beverages in schools. The research question of the desktop HIA asked whether this strategy would have an impact on the overall consumption of sugar sweetened beverages among pupils in primary and secondary schools in Upper Austria.

In the course of this desk-based HIA, data were analysed and national and international literature was researched to get an overview of the evidence. The results of this research were discussed in workshops with experts and players of relevant fields like Upper Austrian school administration, nutritional science, grocery trade, public health, etc. This group of people assessed the potential positive and negative impacts of an availability reduction of sugar sweetened beverages in primary and secondary schools in Upper Austria and deduced recommendations for improving the strategy.

HIA on assisted living for senior citizens in the city of Graz (Styria)

The HIA on assisted living for senior citizens in the city of Graz was conducted by an intersectoral team of the municipal authorities in Graz in cooperation with the umbrella organisation of seniors and the Styrian HIA network. Focus of this HIA was to assess health impacts of the current situation for residents and to develop recommendations for optimizing the future situation.


HIA on the regulation on Health Precautions for Persons Providing Sexual Services

The regulation on Health Precautions for Persons Providing Sexual Services regulates obligatory initial and follow-up examinations, in particular with regard to sexually transmitted diseases as well as information and education, both with regard to infection prevention and to facilities for counselling and support of persons providing sexual services. This regulation also entails significant costs for the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection (examination, material for examination etc.).

This HIA is to be carried out in the form of a desktop HIA. Different international models and scientific findings on health examinations for persons providing sexual services are researched. In order to bring in the views of those affected, actors relevant to the project are involved in the assessment and derivation of recommendations. With a view to future amendments to the regulation, recommendations for optimisation should be provided.

This HIA should be finished in autumn 2018.

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