At the end of February, the total debt of Hungarian hospitals was nearly EUR 178 million (~ HUF 64 billion) based on the data of the Hungarian State Treasury. The increase in January was followed by a significant decrease of EUR 34.4 million (~ HUF 12.4 billion) in February, since in the second half of the month, the government took measures to enable debt payment for those companies who had less than EUR 278 thousand (~HUF 100 million) overdue receivables.
The highest amount was realised by the University of Debrecen whose debt decreased by EUR 4.1 million (~HUF 1.5 billion); followed by EUR 3 million (~HUF 1.1 billion) decrease of the Military Hospital whose debt stock still amounts to EUR 16 million (~HUF 5.8 billion).
Despite the measures, some institutional debt still remained over EUR 5.5 million (~HUF 2 billion); furthermore, in some hospitals, debt even increased by EUR 222 thousand – 278 thousand (~HUF 80-100 million).
In the middle of March, The National Health Insurance Fund (NEAK) published the list of institutions that receive from the EUR 110 million (~ HUF 39,755 billion) provided by the government for their debt settlement. According to the Hungarian news portal napi.hu, the majority of debt payments we were realised last year. Still, there is one more question regarding this year’s debt accumulation.
Even though it had been released earlier this year that hospitals cannot produce more debt, the coronavirus outbreak has overwritten the government’s original intentions regarding the structural change.
To ensure the security of supply, several professional organisations have recommended the establishment of a financial fund to enable hospitals to pay their bills on time. It is equally important that after the epidemic has passed, the financial coverage of the increased need for care should be available to the hospitals.
As we have reported previously, in order to ensure compliance, Hungarian hospitals have been commandeered from the beginning of this week. According to the regulation the so-called hospital commanders are appointed to coordinate hospitals and continuously inform the Interior Minister about the data of health care resources; thus supporting the work of Operational Staff by providing updated information.