Goldenes Kreuz is celebrating 100 years of obstetrics

Press release, May 12, 2021

One hundred years ago, on May 12, 1921, the first baby was born at Goldenes Kreuz Private Hospital. Now there are almost 1,600 births a year, making the maternity unit the largest private obstetrics department in Austria.

Goldenes Kreuz Private Hospital is celebrating a very special anniversary. One hundred years ago, on May 12, 1921, the first baby was born here (at that time still in the original building, known as the “Henry and Therese Wieser Hospital for Civil Servants”). Since then, more than 74,000 children have come into the world in what us now the largest private obstetrics department in Austria. Each birth – from 1921 right up to today – has been documented by the midwives as a handwritten record in a long series of Birth Register Books. For many families, Goldenes Kreuz has been their maternity hospital of choice for generations.

All-time record number of births
In 2020 there were 1,568 babies born at Goldenes Kreuz Private Hospital – more than in any year so far; in fact, the 163 births in March 2021 broke all monthly records in the long history of the Hospital. This steady increase in the number of births is even more pleasing given the declining birth rate in Austria over the years. In Austria as a whole in 2020 there was a drop of 1.7 percent in the birth rate in comparison with 2019;  in Vienna the decrease was as much as 4.1 percent (source: Statistics Austria).

Obstetrics becomes the heart of the Hospital
Whereas records suggest that a century ago women giving birth were accommodated mainly in order to fill the beds, over the years obstetrics has increasingly become the focus of the Private Hospital – with gynecology in general becoming its core activity. As the Hospital became more widely known and demand for its services increased, the obstetrics department, including its buildings, logistics and staff, has been regularly modernized over the years. In 1978 the Nursery was established as a department in its own right, and in 1991 the Neonatal Care Unit was set up.

Secure, comfortable and well cared for
There are currently 21 midwives in the obstetrics department, under the leadership of Elisabeth Altmutter and Ute Sonvilla. The maternity ward (Head nurse: Beate Posch-Fennesz) has a staff of 19, including 17 qualified nurses, and in the newborn ward (Head nurse: Brigitte Stiefsohn) there are 19 qualified pediatric nurses with various additional skills. The neonatal team, directed by Prof. Monika Resch, MD consists of 9 pediatricians – all with supplementary qualifications in neonatal and pediatric intensive care medicine. As with the team of specialists in anesthesia, they are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Good reputation and word-of-mouth recommendation
Numerous surveys, patient questionnaires and ratings bear testimony to the fact that mothers appreciate such a close-knit network of maternity care and years of experience in the field of obstetrics. They praise the professional teamwork of the midwives and heads of the various obstetric departments – wards, midwives, neonatal care – and the flawless logistics behind the warm and competent care they receive, together with the human values underlying all the activities at the Hospital. Attending doctors mention, in their responses to the regular satisfaction surveys, that they choose the Hospital specifically on account of its high level of medical and nursing expertise, together with the quality of service and care they and their patients experience.

Obstetrics is a challenging profession
Despite the continuously high influx of birthing mothers to Goldenes Kreuz Private Hospital – including during the pandemic – Prof. Fritz Nagele, MD is nevertheless concerned for the welfare of the profession itself: “Obstetrics is the only area of medicine in which one bears responsibility for two people at the same time. It requires courage to take on this significant responsibility, together with the high level of forensic (legal) risk present in obstetrics, on top of which a tremendous degree of commitment and passion is necessary. This means that the traditional role of the obstetrician is less and less attractive to young doctors, and the average age is increasing,” explains the Medical Director and Head of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Birth register from 1921
The oldest birth register dates from 1921 – the opening line records the birth of the first baby on May 12, 1921: The mother’s occupation is shown as “daughter of a privy councilor”, but the gender of the child was not documented.
Nurse with a baby
The obstetrics department at Goldenes Kreuz sees the birth of almost 1,600 babies every year. The photo shows a nurse with a baby in the Private Hospital’s newborn ward.

Gesellschaft vom Goldenen Kreuze
One of the Hospital’s well-wishers, Dr. Wilhelm Gloss, President of the Österreichische Gesellschaft vom Goldenen Kreuze observes, “In the years since the Österreichische Gesellschaft vom Goldenen Kreuze founded what was at that time, over a century ago, a hospital for civil servants, Goldenes Kreuz has become one of Austria’s outstanding private hospitals, building a widely respected reputation for itself, especially in the area of obstetrics. Among the many children who have entered the world there over the course of its history are my own two grandchildren, born there quite recently. Congratulations on this anniversary!”

Goldenes Kreuz Private Hospital
Goldenes Kreuz Private Hospital, a member of the PremiQaMed Group, is a leading private hospital for obstetrics, gynecology and breast health with a history going back 102 years. Almost 1,600 children are born here every year. In addition to state-of-the-art diagnostics, its main medical fields include surgery and internal medicine.

PremiQaMed Group
The PremiQaMed Group is one of Austria’s leading private healthcare providers and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG. The Group has approximately 2,000 employees. Döbling Private Hospital, the Döbling Outpatient Center, Confraternatität and Goldenes Kreuz Private Hospitals in Vienna, the Wehrle-Diakonissen Private Hospital in Salzburg and the Graz Ragnitz Private Hospital are all members of the Group. In private public partnership (PPP) models with the SVS social insurance scheme for the self-employed, the PremiQaMed Group also operates the Malcherhof Klinikum in Baden, which specializes in rehabilitation medicine, as well as the Healthcare Center for the Self-Employed in Vienna.

Lazarettgasse 16-18, 1090 Vienna Icon Standort