Experts say that more and more Hungarians able to afford it go to private hospitals instead of the state healthcare system if they do not feel well because the latter is slow, bureaucratic, and the waiting lists are kilometres long. Therefore, it is not surprising that a new private hospital opened in Budapest just weeks before the coronavirus epidemic broke out. One of the institution’s aims is to attract as many Hungarian doctors working abroad as possible to return home.
According to 24, more and more people pay huge sums of money to get medical help in a Western-European environment instead of sleazy Hungarian state hospitals. Furthermore, many companies also give their employees a private healthcare package so the sector still has very good potential for further expansion.
Róbert Mári, the CEO of the new Wáberer Medical Centre in Budapest, said that Hungarian patients do not want to hear Latin words anymore from their doctors, but
they would like to know what their problem is, and they would like to get well as soon as possible,
which is why they need the services of the private healthcare sector. He added that they expect an income worth HUF 1 billion (EUR 2.8 million), which they would like to increase to HUF 2.5 billion (EUR 7 million) in a couple of years. The founder is György Wáberer, the 13th richest Hungarian, who used to be active in the transport industry (with Waberer’s) but, in 2016, decided to invest in the private healthcare sector. He already spent HUF 3 billion (EUR 8.4 million) on the new medical centre.
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Currently, they have 70 doctors, many of whom are full-time, and more than 10 of them returned from abroad. Furthermore, it is
one of their declared aims to convince Hungarian doctors to return home.
Of course, they did not tell the press how much they have to pay to be successful in that. But some returned even from England.
For example, Balázs Sárosi did so, and now he leads the private hospital’s Walk-In Centre. This is a department where a patient can arrive without any prior scheduling. They examine them in 5 minutes, and they will get professional treatment in an hour. Of course, one can turn to them not only in the case of life-threatening situations but also in the case of household accidents or sports injuries. “We would not like to compete with the emergency departments of the state hospitals, but we would like to take off their burden by treating less severe injuries,” the doctors stated.
Of course, one has to pay for everything, and
the prices are not moderate for an average Hungarian family budget.
The basic fee is EUR 100, an X-ray is almost EUR 40, so, for example, a twisted ankle can easily “cost” 200 EUR. In return, the hospital offers quality services, clean rooms, and toilets, hand sanitisers, and rubber gloves.
Interestingly, 24 said that two other private hospitals will open shortly in Budapest, and one of them belongs to János Kóka, the former minister of economy.