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Ruminations on the health care system

March 7th, 2015

The leading left-wing daily calls for privatization or substantial extra public spending in the health care system in order to overcome current underfinancing. A liberal commentator fears that the government’s plans to raise wages will not deter doctors from leaving the country or accepting cash ‘bonuses’ from patients.

To maintain the safe running of the service, the health care system needs more money, Népszabadság writes in a front page editorial. The leading left-wing daily recalls that between 2004 and 2012, the share of the budget allotted to public health care in Hungary amounted to 4.4 per cent of GDP, well below the Visegrád countries’ average of over 6 per cent. As a result of underfinancing, Hungarian hospitals are understaffed and ill-equipped, Népszabadság claims. In conclusion, the editors recommend that the problems can only be overcome if private capital is allowed into the health care system.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Gyula Kincses finds it unlikely that the government’s incentives to keep doctors in Hungary will succeed. The government outlined plans to offer a significant raise for doctors in exchange for their commitment to work in Hungary and not accept bribes. The promised raise is not sufficient to keep doctors in Hungary, and it is also unlikely that patients will stop bribing doctors, Kincses predicts.

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