The state is gradually withdrawing from the Hungarian healthcare sector. According to Péter Álmos, President of the Hungarian Medical Chamber, the government’s moves suggest that private providers will have a very important role to play in the provision of care.
Health sector in shambles
The state is gradually withdrawing from the healthcare sector, and the government’s actions indicate that private providers will play a very important role in the provision of care, the president of the Hungarian Medical Chamber (Magyar Orvosi Kamara, MOK) told hvg360 in an interview.
"Hungary is among the last in the EU in terms of preventable and avoidable deaths, as well as in basic health indicators, due to lack of funding."
The quality of care has deteriorated a lot over the last 5-10 years. People’s confidence in the health system has declined. This mainly affects the public sector. It’s no use having healthcare professionals do their best if the reality is different from the professional optimum, he said.
State doesn’t spend enough on healthcare
The state spends half the EU average of EUR 1200-1300 per capita on health, according to OECD statistics. This is the main reason why waiting lists and hospital debt are on the rise, as we wrote HERE.
According to Péter Álmos, despite government communication, the state is withdrawing from the health sector. Meanwhile, the share of the private sector has increased significantly over the past four years. The MOK president agrees with Viktor Orbán, who at a press conference at the end of the year called the healthcare system a mess. However, Álmos said that they do not know exactly how the government would put things in order, 24.hu wrote, based on the interview.
Preparing for private care
According to Álmos, we must be prepared for self-care. “The current steps are a step in the direction that I think anyone who can afford it should set aside a sum for their healthcare. As well as pensions or children’s education, which many people do outside the state system,” he said.
According to the president of the chamber, a well-functioning system can include both private and public care, there are international examples of this. However, the government needs to think carefully about the direction it wants to take in developing healthcare and how it allocates scarce human resources.
“A health reform takes a long time, I don’t think we need to rush it, but it would be more fortunate if health workers were not only passengers on the boat, but knew where they were going. As would be in everyone else’s interest,” Álmos said.