Sigrid Pilz is replaced as Viennese patient advocate

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A small era is coming to an end in Vienna’s healthcare system: After ten years in office, patient advocate Sigrid Pilz is stepping down. However, not voluntarily. After her second period of office expired in the spring, she applied for a third one. But now she is being replaced: “Bgm. Ludwig will not appoint me again as a patient advocate,” said Pilz on Twitter on Monday.

Sigrid Pilz

It is not yet clear who will be her successor. According to reports, no fewer than 24 candidates applied for the job, three of whom are said to have been on the shortlist. The high number of applicants, including a large number of external candidates, would show that the appointment process was very transparent and objective, according to the city government. On the other hand, it was often already clear in the past who should get the post.

The official presentation could take place tomorrow, Tuesday. The formal decision on the appointment is made by the state government.

The former Green municipal councilor and proven health expert Pilz took office in 2012, soon after the start of the red-green coalition in Vienna. In 2017, she was confirmed in her position for a further five years. This fuels the suspicion in city hall circles that her contract has not been extended for purely party-political reasons. The Greens have not been in government since 2020.

In any case, Pilz’ age should not have played a role in the decision: the trained social scientist is already 64. But when her predecessor, the lawyer Konrad breast farmer, took over the office in 2007, he was already 67 years old. And now it can be heard in town hall circles that the mushroom successor should be a person who is brought back from the pension.

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Unlike many of her colleagues from other federal states, Pilz took a very offensive approach to her position. Again and again there were violent conflicts with the medical association, which were carried out in public, for example when it came to quality defects in doctor’s offices.

In the past few months, Pilz has campaigned publicly for strict corona measures – and has therefore not always been in line with the Green Minister of Health. She almost rose to the position herself last year. However, she rejected a corresponding offer after the departure of Rudolf Anschober.

Sigrid Pilz Life

Pilz completed his studies in educational science and psychology in Innsbruck and received his doctorate (Dr. phil. For a long time she worked and ran a youth center for disadvantaged young people. From 1985 she was a civil servant in the Ministry of Social Affairs , Head of the Department for International Family and Youth Policy and Lecturer at the University of Innsbruck .

From 2001 to 2012 she was a member of the Vienna State Parliament and Municipal Council , where she most recently held the position of health spokesperson for Die Grünen Wien . In this function, she uncovered abuses in the Lainz nursing home as well as in the training for interns. In the course of the so-called Lainz care scandal , the responsible city councilor Elisabeth Pittermann had to resign.

On July 1, 2012, she took up the position of patient advocate for the province of Vienna . Her place on the municipal council was succeeded by Alexander Van der Bellen .

She has been a member of the ORF Board of Trustees since 2020, succeeding Susanne Fengler .

Shortly before the public announcement of the resignation of Health Minister Rudolf Anschober , Pilz was given the opportunity to take office, but she declined.

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There is no relationship with Peter Pilz .

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