The government continues to develop the Hungarian healthcare system, value healthcare professionals, and improve infrastructure, the minister of finance stated on Friday at the St Margaret Hospital’s Margaret Day celebration in Budapest.
According to Mihály Varga, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of not depending on external actors for the procurement of essential healthcare supplies and equipment. Therefore, it is crucial to further strengthen the healthcare sector. In this regard, the government has supported 57 domestic healthcare investments that manufacture indispensable healthcare supplies such as medical masks, gloves, and dressings. Mihály Varga reminded that before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, 91 hospitals, 54 outpatient clinics, and 107 ambulance stations were renovated, while 23 new outpatient clinics and 34 ambulance stations were built throughout the country with government funding.
The minister indicated that the government plans to allocate 3,200 billion forints for healthcare purposes in the draft budget for 2024.
This is 420 billion forints more than the amount earmarked this year.
He also noted that the budget allocation for next year is two trillion forints higher than in 2010.
Regarding healthcare salary increases, the minister said the government will continue its two-stage wage hike programme. In addition to the 18 per cent raise in July this year, 200 billion forints have been allocated for this purpose in the draft budget for next year. The funds for pharmaceutical subsidies, cash benefits in health insurance, and the procurement of ambulances will also be expanded.
Mihály Varga acknowledged that while some investments planned for next year will have to be postponed as the government is not in a position to provide their full funding, there will be no such postponements in healthcare. ‘The necessary funding will be made available,’ the minister pledged. He added that further medical equipment acquisitions will take place based on a government decision, including the procurement of state-of-the-art CT, MRI, X-ray machines, and mammography devices, as in previous years.
Director of the St Margaret Hospital Mihály Nagy recalled that the institution has undergone numerous renovations in recent years, including energy efficiency-boosting investments, the refurbishing of the hospital’s kitchen, and the acquisition of modern medical equipment. He pointed out that everyone has suffered from the coronavirus pandemic, but the hospital’s employee community has become even more cohesive during this challenging time and patient remain satisfied with the care received.