health care
Waiting lists are shorter than in June but still unbearable.

Doctors working next to the Groupama Arena do not understand why the government spent billions of forints on building first-class football stadiums instead of improving health care. Emese Szabó reported Magyar Nemzet from the South-Pest Hospital Centre.

Waiting half a year for a simple blood test

As we already reported, the Hungarian health care system struggles with many problems. According to an international research of Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute,

72% of the Hungarians mentioned health care system among the three biggest issues of the country.

People mentioned the long waiting lists, the immigration and the lack of doctors, the devastated state of the hospitals, the salaries of the health care employees and the outdated medical equipment among the most critical problems of health care.

A journalist of Magyar Nemzet, Emese Szabó published a lengthy article about the devastated state of the South-Pest Hospital Centre. According to her, a friend of hers had to wait six months for a simple blood test. On the why question they said that because of the lack of the doctors.

‘There are not enough doctors to evaluate it.’

– said a nurse in the hospital. The test was essential for him because there was a good chance that he has a hereditary mutation, thrombophilia which is a predisposing factor for thrombosis. However, without a proper blood test, no one can tell whether a treatment should be started or not.

So the patients have to accept that such blood tests are only done immediately if they produce, e.g. a life-threatening thrombosis. Even though, blood tests for thrombophilia screening are not expensive examinations. If somebody chooses private health care, the fee is 5,000 HUF (EUR 16) plus 1,500-2,500 HUF (EUR 5-8) for blood taking. Thus, the problem is probably not financial, but the lack of doctors and nurses – wrote Szabó.

The government supports football instead of healthcare

Thus, it is not by chance that doctors and nurses working in the hospital centre complain about the Groupama Arena on which the government spent billions of forints. According to the website of the Arena, it is one of Europe’s most modern, multifunctional, creative and elegant sports complexes. However, employees of the hospital centre cannot say so about their buildings.

health care
The emergency department of the Jahn Ferenc Hospital, Budapest.

A colleague of Szabó had to spend a night in the hospital centre last year. According to him,

the state of the infirmary, the corridor, the stairway, the shower room and the whole building was unacceptable.

One of the doctors working in the hospital told an absurd story regarding the football stadium. They wanted to transfer a patient between two buildings of the hospital.  However, the Albert Flórián Street was blocked because of a football match. This happens regularly, but in this specific case, the patient died. Of course, officially he did not pass away because of the delay.

– ‘What is the problem?

Check the restrooms. They are awful.

And the lesser problem is that they are dirty. The cleaners cannot do anything.’ ‘Except for one or two buildings, the whole hospital should be rebuilt’ – added a doctor.

One of the doctors

complained because of the outdated medical equipment.

He added that of course, they do what they can.  However, the difference between their working conditions and the working conditions of their Western-European colleagues is like the difference between driving an old Trabant and a new Mercedes. Furthermore, they know the contrast between the possibilities a doctor has in the 21st century and what they have. However, they regard it very positive that in spite of the outdated equipment they cure by using the latest protocols. However, ‘we need entirely new infrastructure’ – he added.

Another doctor regards the lack of doctors and nurses the most crucial problem.


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