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Hospitals’ situation in Hungary – Abandon all hope, ye who enter here 29 June, 2015

Hungary — Deplorable conditions – this is how we can best describe what patients can expect if taken to hospital in Hungary. It was always said that the expertise of Hungarian professionals can counter-balance the insufficiencies, however, this is not the case as a recent survey reveals..



The supervisors of the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service (ÁNTSZ) would be certainly shocked to see that the hospital showers are far from being sterile, they are rusted and the tiles are broken.


Upon the call of the Independent Union of Healthcare Workers (FESZ), professional healthcare workers have sent shocking photos which illustrate the current conditions of hospitals in Hungary, depicting decaying walls, missing tiles, and medical staff using garbage bags as working clothes in the laboratory. Recently, the pictures of some hospital food posted on Facebook which mostly resembled swill and served as lunch raised hackles, but many people were also shocked when it was revealed that in the paediatric ward of the hospital in Szeged supermarket trolleys are used to transport the little patients.


Here is Hungarian reality: the plaster ceiling fell into the shower tray. Fortunately, it did not hurt anyone.


The Hungarian Hospital Association already rang alarm bells three years ago.


As they said not even one hospital in Hungary is able to satisfy the minimum requirements of patient security. Moreover, hospital acquired infections raise more and more concerns. According to the statistics, more people will die of some hospital acquired infection than in cancer within five years. In Hungary, at least 100,000 people die of some hospital acquired infection every year.


– With some exaggeration, we might as well post the ominous quotation ”Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” on the entrance of the hospitals, said László Kiss, president of FESZ.

The picture showing people in garbage bags as scrubs was posted in the Facebook group the State of Hungarian healthcare. They had to be creative!
The seclusion room is worn-out and nasty, and the poor furnishing offers hardly any comfort.
–Hospitals and medical centres are in a deplorable condition. In the system there is a shortage of thousands of doctors and tens of thousands of professional healthcare workers. Unlike in other European countries, in France for instance where the nurse-patient ratio is 1:4-5, the respective figures for Hungary is 1:15-20-30! What is more! It is not uncommon that during night shift there only one nurse “looking after” as many as 60 patients. And this is already subject to criminal liability, called endangerment – the president said.
This is how the ward of children with attention deficit disorder looks like in one of the hospitals
– We have to increase the amount pumped into healthcare by at least HUF 100-150 billion every year to make it working – the president started. – Hungary spends by 1.5-2% less on healthcare than Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic or Slovenia. As far as the professional personnel is concerned – although they are overburdened and work for low salary in poor conditions – they work hard and efficiently. It is a fact that overburdened doctors and nurses are often impatient – Velkey summed up.

The reasons why there are so many people acquiring some infection in hospitals are – Excessive use of antibiotics – Infections are not recognised in time – Seclusion of the infected patient is not possible – Not enough protective equipment – Lack of hygiene (hand wash, disinfection, cleaning) – Shortage of nurses.


– We have to say it: today the hospital care system is not secure and the quality of the services is poor! – said dr István Éger, president of the Hungarian Medical Chamber.




It is not enough even for patch up


The government “gets involved” in reducing hospital debts from time to time. Last time, it spent HUF 60 billion on paying out debts to suppliers, but it was all in vain as hospitals still have debts amounting up to some HUF 30 billion. According to the Association of Hungarian Health Technology Suppliers, the overdue debts of Hungarian hospitals may have reached HUF 70 billion by the autumn.


There is nothing left for improvement


The Department of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular diseases II of Péterfy Sándor Utcai Hospital has 84 beds where patients are cared in rooms for five, four, three or two people.

– The annual budget of our hospital is HUF 16 billion. Over 65% of this amount goes for salaries and wages, which are extremely low by international comparison – said director general dr Antal Sásdi to Blikk.


Four-times meal for HUF 500


–According to the rules, a net amount of HUF 550 should be spent for the catering of one patient every day. Based on the regulations, this includes three major and one minor meal, as we learnt at the press centre of the Ministry of Human Resources.

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