health care

As we already reported, thousands of Hungarian doctors and nurses work abroad for higher wages and because of the better working conditions. In fact, most of them work in Great-Britain, Germany and Switzerland. According to, a British Parliament report shows that more Hungarians (1,187) work in the British NHS than Americans (1179). Consequently, there is an ever-growing labour shortage in many sectors of the Hungarian health care.

The most crucial problem is money

Clearly, the most critical issue of the Hungarian health care system is that there are not enough doctors and nurses because they are extremely overloaded and underpaid. This is because the government does not spend enough money from the state budget on health care. According to the Hungarian Medical Chamber, the Hungarian health care system

needs at least 6-700 billion HUF (EUR 2.25M).

The Hungarian health care system even fell behind the Central-European countries of the region in this issue. In fact, the Hungarian healthcare expenditure per capita is only half of the EU-28. To make matters worse, even Slovakia and Slovenia outran Hungary in this regard. Because of the low wages, most of the nurses have more than one job. However,

their tiredness can threaten proper health care service

Thus, Independent Trade Union of Healthcare Workers prepared in January for a strike.

As a result, it is not surprising that more and more doctors and nurses seek better wages in Western-European countries.

Government says that the situation is getting better

Wage increases, support for junior doctors, healthcare development projects and increased resources are behind the turnaround, human resources state secretary Bence Rétvári told a press conference last year. Furthermore, he added in December that

there are more doctors staying in Hungary

and more fresh graduates coming on stream compared with the past. In February he told the press that the number of Hungarian doctors applying for permits to work abroad between 2011 and 2016 fell from an annual 800 to below 400.

However, the general experience of the patients does not meet the governmental communication. Waiting lists are long, the debts of the hospitals are gigantic, and according to an official report leaked in 2016

two-third of the hospitals should be closed because of outdated medical technology, financial shortage and the lack of qualified doctors.

Consequently, it is not surprising that according to a list concerning health care published by OECD, Hungary is at the bottom in all categories.

More than one thousand Hungarians working only in the British health care system

According to a Parliament report, there is 976,288 British staff working in the National Health Service (NHS) in Great-Britain. In fact, 62,000 doctors, nurses and infrastructure staff are nationals of other EU countries. Other than Brits, the second-most favoured nation working in the NHS is India. Third place goes to the Philippines while fourth to the Irish.

Furthermore, 25th are the Hungarians who are more than the Americans. According to the report,

there are 1,187 Hungarian doctors, nurses and infrastructure staff working in the British health care system.

Among the EU-member countries, Poland is in the first place with more than 8,477 people. They are followed by Spanish, Portuguese, Italians and Romanians.

However, not only the UK is the only aim of the Hungarian healthcare staff. For example, the Facebook group of Hungarian doctors working in Germany already had more than 1,000 members in 2014.

Source:, Daily Mail, Daily News Hungary

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