The indebtedness of Hungarian hospitals grows enormously fast, by HUF 3.5 billion (EUR 10 million) each month. The Hungarian State Treasury claims that the total debt value has reached HUF 38 billion (EUR 117 million) – nevertheless, as reports, the government states that the health care system is properly financed.

As we have already reported, the indebtedness and horrible state of hospitals represent a great problem in the whole country. By the middle of the year, Hungarian hospitals have accumulated more than HUF 38 billion (EUR 117 million) in debt. Most of the invoices, more than 40 pc were due two months ago, while 37 pc should have been paid by last month.

Only some 20 pc of the checks were paid by hospitals on time all over the country.

In the meantime, the government claims that the serious amount of debt of hospitals does not mean that the health care system is under-financed. However, it is hard to see how this could be true: according to OECD’s 2017 report, Hungarian health care expenditure is well below the EU average, with around 8 pc of the GDP spent on the health care. The government spends EUR 1428 on health care per person, while this number is EUR 2797 in the EU on average.

The most indebted hospitals are Péterfy Sándor Street Hospital (debt of HUF 2.5 billion), Honvéd Hospital (HUF 1.1 billion) and the South-Pest Hospital Centre (HUF 1.5 billion).

Hospitals in the countryside are also struggling with indebtedness: in Békés and Jász-Nagykun counties the debt is more than HUF 1.5 billion, while in Csongrád county it is around HUF 1.1 billion.

Each part of the government came up with different reasons and explanations for the high indebtedness of hospitals. On the one hand, Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office says the increase in indebtedness is nothing to worry about as health care expenditures are in a better shape than before. On the other hand, Bence Rétvári, Parliamentary State Secretary claims that the increase is caused by an increase in the prices and better quality services.

Anikó Nagy, Minister of State for Health Care emphasised the importance of monitoring the consolidation process that should happen in advance. As she says, only cooperation between hospitals and professional organisations can solve the problem of indebtedness.

Nevertheless, László Domokos, President of the State Audit Office said otherwise in a recent interview: he reported about outrage, chaos and anarchy regarding the financial management of hospitals.

From the outsider’s perspective, one cannot know what truly is behind these claims made by different members of the government – however, it is certain that monitoring, constant planning and more coordination is to be expected regarding the financing of hospitals.


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