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Major challenges ahead for Hungarian healthcare

Gaál P, Szigeti Sz, Panteli D, Gaskins M, vanGinneken E
BMJ 2011;343





The health sector in Hungary is facing its most serious crisis since the fall of the communist regime. Péter Gaál and colleagues discuss the challenges and how to respond to them.

"Our recent review of the Hungarian health system laid bare some of the major challenges it faces today. Although Hungary’s problems are not unique, their size sets this nation of 10 million people apart. The country has some of the worst health indicators in Europe, and public funding of its health system, which has long been inadequate, is currently in decline. Out of pocket expenses are high and the system encourages informal payments. At the same time, the health workforce in Hungary is shrinking because of migration of skilled professionals, threatening the sustainability of the system. In this article we look at some of the successes and failures of recent health reforms and suggest a way forward."

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