Dentists working in Hungary’s public healthcare system are planning a partial work shutdown for three days next month, pro-government daily Magyar Idők reports.
The dentists earlier demanded an increase in financing for state-funded dentistry, but after the state failed to do so they now say that from September 4 to 6 they will only treat emergency patients.
The Hungarian government currently allocates HUF 28 billion (USD 108 million) per year to dental care, which is some HUF 2,800 (USD 11) per year per citizen, according to the dentistry branch of the Hungarian Medical Chamber (MOK). The chamber says this is half the minimum required to provide adequate care.
MOK dental branch vice-president Olga Herczeg told online.hu in June that “more than 1,000 dentists have gone abroad in the last 12 years.” She said many young dentists are unwilling to accept jobs in underfinanced state dentistry and are considering private practices or careers abroad instead.
There are currently 284 permanently unfilled dentist positions in Hungary, according to business daily Világgazdaság.