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Our trade union in unity with the other five medical trade unions organised one of the past few years’ biggest demonstration in May 2015, with participants reaching roughly ten thousand. During the demonstration our demands were handed to the leader of the ministry who admitted that we are right in every point and our demands are well-founded. Despite all these the budget for the next two-year cycle completed and approved the next month did not plan a higher sum of money for healthcare. The only change is, that the minister who admitted we were right resigned and our Prime Minister has not appointed anyone to fill his place ever since, therefore there is no responsible leader of the Hungarian healthcare for two months now.
The data of medical migration has become available for the first half of year 2015, and it is clear now that emigration of doctors has not decreased. In the past 10 years approximately one thousand physicians left Hungary every year. The lack of doctors has become crucial in provincial hospitals and in some professional areas even in Budapest, waiting lists are long. The debts of hospitals are unstoppable, though the government partly compensates and pays the suppliers every year, this debt is reproduced fast. Presently, over half a million Hungarian citizens do not have a GP, and according to forecasts made by the government, by the year 2020 half of the population will not have a GP because of aging of this medical area. Consequently, this is the only sphere of healthcare that received surplus money, 300 EUR per doctors. According to plans similar resource input is due in the coming years, aiming for a 3000 EUR salary.
The last time the wages were risen in the sector was in 2013, although our economic growth is beyond the European average the government is not willing to spend more on pay-rises. Therefore, Hungarian healthcare workers are underpaid, are exposed to extreme workload and the necessary appliances and medicine are missing in the hospitals. Although, some of the provincial hospitals were refurbished from EU funds, the conditions of hospitals in the capital are extremely bad.
The most distressing news is yet to come. One European Parliament representative of the opposition asked the European Union Healthcare State Secretary what they intended to do in unifying the standard of European healthcare. The answer was that since this is a national issue, they do not wish to act in any ways neither they have the money and potential to do so. Each and every member state should handle the problem themselves. The only solution left is the further brain drain of physicians by wealthier countries.
János Bélteczki MD
Chairman of MOSZ