The tangible results of governmental measures aimed at disease prevention are evident, as stated by the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior in Budapest on Monday, 27 November during a professional event at the György Gottsegen Hungarian Institute of Cardiology.
Bence Rétvári highlighted several measures, including the reform of school catering, the expansion of sporting opportunities, the introduction of the so-called ‘chips tax,’ and restrictions on the availability of tobacco products. According to the State Secretary, a crucial element of this series of measures was the launch of screening buses, which primarily reached disadvantaged communities located farther away from hospitals and clinics.
Regarding the ‘Bringing Screenings to the Community’ programme, Rétvári reported that the vehicles visited 300 disadvantaged settlements, where over 13,000 individuals participated in various screenings
over 268 days, resulting in nearly 25,000 examinations.
In 7,000 instances, health parameters deviating from the norm were identified, leading to further examinations for the individuals concerned. The results of screenings conducted on buses, such as cervical and melanoma screenings, dental cavity examinations, blood sugar and cholesterol level screenings, and ophthalmic examinations, were recorded in the National Healthcare Service (EESZT).
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the State Secretary emphasized that health preservation measures have yielded visible results. Over the past decade, life expectancy has increased by 1.5 years, and in terms of years spent in good health, Hungary now surpasses 13 EU countries, compared to only five in 2010.
Director-General of the György Gottsegen Institute of Cardiology Péter Andréka emphasized that
cardiovascular problems are the leading cause of death in the developed world.
Effectively combating these diseases requires identifying the problem before its onset. The institute initiated screening bus examinations in 2019; and has examined over 10,000 individuals since, of whom 2,000 exhibited symptoms or complaints. This year, their bus conducted 500 screenings, necessitating further examinations for 200 individuals, as disclosed by Andréka.
Deputy Director-General for Public Health and Prevention at the National Directorate General for Hospitals (OKFŐ) Gabriella Bábiné Szottfried stated that in March of this year, the directorate took over the operation of ten general screening buses from the National Center for Public Health and Pharmacy, deploying them to hospitals performing the coordinating county functions. The results speak for themselves, she declared, highlighting the tremendous significance of, for instance, the cardiovascular institute’s screening bus reaching disadvantaged communities with specialized examinations.