Budapest (MTI) – Hungary’s health-care system saw big changes in financing after 2010, and several health indicators have improved as a result, as confirmed by data published in a recent OECD report, Bence Rétvári, state secretary at the human resources ministry, said on Sunday.
Citing the OECD’s recent Health at a Glance report, Rétvári said Hungary’s health-care expenditures rose by nearly 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP after a steep decline earlier. OECD data show that thanks to government measures Hungarians have had better access to sports, healthy food and medical services in the past few years, Rétvári said.
Hungarian children are better protected from the most infectious disaseases than the EU average because 99 percent of them get the right vaccinations early on, compared with only 96 percent on average in the EU, he said.
The government’s efforts to introduce everyday mandatory physical education to school curriculums has paid off, as the OECD report shows that Hungarian 11-15 year-olds get more excercise than the average European. Another example where Hungary is doing better is breast cancer and prostate cancer. According to the OECD data 0.055 percent of Hungarian women have breast cancer, compared with 0.074 percent of the European average. Similarly, only 38 out of 100,000 Hungarian men were suffering from prostate cancer, compared with 70 in the average of the 28 EU member states, he said.
Rétvári said other government measures promoting health, such as the fat tax and model school meals, have also been successful. Daily fruit consumption has increased, Hungary is above the EU’s average, ranking sixth among all countries in this respect.
Hungary has a good number of doctors, there are 14.5 of them for every 100,000 Hungarians, compared with an EU average of just 12.3. There are 40.5 registered nurses per 100,000 people, and 39.1 in the EU on average, he added.