Budapest (MTI) – Gabor Zombor, state secretary for health care, has asked to be relieved of his duties from August 31, the human resources ministry said.
Zombor cited personal and family reasons for his resignation, the ministry said. His interim replacement will be Attila Beneda until Human Resources Minister Zoltan Balog recommends a new state secretary to the prime minister.
Zombor was appointed to the position in June of 2014 after the swearing in of the new Fidesz government. He has been a Fidesz MP since 2006.
“The minister acknowledges with regret that a professional of great expertise is leaving the helm of health care,” the ministry said in its statement.
Government office chief Janos Lazar told a regular government press conference on Thursday that the prime minister and the human resources minister had total confidence in the departing state secretary, whose work had been “exceptional”. He noted that it was for family reasons that Zombor had tendered his resignation.
Opposition parties said Zombor’s resignation was a sign of failure of the government’s health-care policies.
The LMP party said Zombor’s resignation just one day after the government held a policy conference shows that there is “no will in the Orban government to tackle the crisis in the health-care sector”. “Letting the state secretary go won’t solve anything; they simply need to put a lot more money into saving the sector and paying off hospital debt,” Istvan Ikotity, the party’s health spokesman, said in a statement.
The Socialists also said Zombor’s departure alone would not solve the “dire situation” of the health-care system. The government should stop its “spending on luxury” and start putting funding into the health-care system, the party said in a statement.
The radical nationalist Jobbik party said the state secretary’s departure was “unlikely to be for family reasons only”. Fidesz in the past five years could have used its mandate to create order in health care, “but instead it failed horrifically, piling one mistake on top of another.” The government has failed to find solutions to such ailments as mounting hospital debt, gratuity payments or a career model for health-care workers, the party said. It called for the restoration of a separate health ministry.
The Democratic Coalition (DK) said the resignation was concurrent with a “collapse of patient care” and the unstoppable flow of doctors taking jobs abroad.
Dialogue for Hungary (PM)
Dialogue for Hungary (PM) said thousands were dying because of postponed operations, outdated equipment and bad hygienic conditions in hospitals as a result of the “terrible damage” the Fidesz government had inflicted on health care over the past years.
Egyutt also said the government was conceding to having “zero negotiating power” in health-care decision making. “The whole system is underfinanced,” the party said, adding that there was a 50 billion forint (EUR 159.3m) hole in the health-care budget.
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