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Starting in 2021, participants of gratuity are punished in Hungary. The government is planning to implement strict controlling measures to stop such activities.

As we have earlier reported, according to the government’s decision made in October 2020, giving or receiving a gratuity is punished by imprisonment from 2021. An exception is a gift worth about 8000 HUF (22 EUR) that doctors can accept after two months of treatments.

Both the doctor and the patient are punishable by imprisonment if they receive or give money in an envelope after a treatment. One can be punished with one year of prison – these are now being added to the criminal law.

According to Blikk, the Hungarian government is planning to involve an elite unit in the monitoring of doctors who require or accept gratuity. The National Defence Service of the Hungarian Ministry of Interior (Nemzeti Védelmi Szolgálat, NVSZ) used only to collect secret information on armed forces to find corruption and criminals, but from March it will also be involved in checking doctors.

This is so far the strictest measure against gratuity implemented by the Hungarian government. Doctors can expect phone tapping, bugs, bait checks, and monitoring by secret services.

As the Ministry of Interior informed ATV, there will be a special unit organised within NVSZ with 50 members to deal with gratuity-related crimes. The new regulations will be applied from 1 March 2021 – until that the authorities focus on informing the people concerned and on prevention, for example, they will hold lectures in hospitals.

The organisation is able to use any kinds of resources to reconnoitre corruptions. “They collect incriminatory data for long times, using different measures, preparing secret reports to be able to prove even the most secretive actions.” – said Péter Tarjányi, security policy expert. In his opinion, centuries-old habits are not necessarily so easy to stop overnight.

On the other hand, according to Zsombor Kunetz medical expert, if there is a unit watching doctors with secret service tools, it feels like we are in the 1950s.

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Read alsoThe majority of Hungarian babies are born in corruption – Fresh survey results

Source: Blikk, ATV

3 comments
  1. If this sort of Stasi-like surveillance is truly going to be employed then Hungary can expect a whole load more of Doctors to jump ship and work abroad.

  2. Hypothetical example :
    My cardiologist, after the success of my triple open heart by-pass surgery, knowing he was an avid fan of Ferencvarosi Torna Club – was at my invitation invited – which he and his beautiful wife accepted, to watch a match from my private box at Stadion Albert Florien.
    My “Modus Operandi” or conscience – driven by my gratuitous nature – not lost in any other agendas the question I ask is :
    Has my Surgeon committed a Crime ?
    Has he through my graciousness – my gratitude of appreciation – has he committed a Crime ?
    My answer – NO.
    This plan of Government – the reported degree of severe use in the process of Law – the illegal practice of acts, that are deemed as gratitude – or gratuitous, will make for very interesting and test case material.
    The Legal fraternity – will Delight at this being introduced in the process that is being reported out of Government “inner sanctum” circles.

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