A lawmaker of radical nationalist Jobbik on Sunday promised that his party would set up an independent ministry for health care and improve the wages and working conditions for health-care workers to keep them in the field if his party triumphs in next year’s general election.
Hungarian health care is in a grave situation, László György Lukács said, because “[ruling] Fidesz is loath to spend money on it.”
Citing a finding of the National Healthcare Services Centre (AEEK), Lukács said that 1,000,000 citizens cannot reach an ambulance station within half an hour from their residence. A quarter of Hungarian families “face financial despair” in case of a larger medical bill, he said.
The greatest problem of Hungarian health care today is lack of funds, Lukács said, arguing that the government “does not want to spend on the employees’ wages and on operational costs”. The proportion of funds allocated to health care to GDP has declined between 2010 and 2015, he said.
Fidesz reacted saying that Jobbik had voted against raising the health care sector’s budget by 542 billion forints which the ruling majority voted into law earlier this year. Scandals are multiplying around Jobbik, Fidesz said in a statement, and called on the party to “finally tell the public what they know about the whereabouts of [Jobbik MEP] Béla Kovács, who has been associated with multiple crimes”.
Kovács’s immunity was suspended earlier this month at the initiative of Hungary’s chief prosecutor, citing information from the European Union’s anti-fraud office (OLAF), which suggested that Kovács had hired four interns who never turned up in Brussels nor did they do any work.
In its statement, Fidesz cited press reports saying that Kovács had failed to appear in court where he would have been heard as a suspect.