Klubrádió and 24.hu report that dentists are threatening to strike from September 4-6 if they cannot reach an agreement with the government. The strike period, which organizers hope would draw attention to the lack of funding for dentists, would see only emergency services provided at Hungary’s state dentistry offices.
Strike organizer Ákos Nagy told Klubrádió that dentists have not received the funding promised them by the government for basic services. Dentists are taking on private work to cover the expenses of providing public health-care services.
In Hungary, dentists receive half as much support from the state as general practitioners. As a result, they may stop providing free services within two years.
The dentists have launched a petition urging the government to increase their funding. So far, 900 dentists have signed the petition.
They say they receive only around HUF 760,000 monthly to operate one dental office, while the actual monthly cost (excluding overhead) is around HUF 840,000. Thus they must cover a shortfall of HUF 80,000 per month.
Performing dental services under the national health-care scheme is so problematic that an increasing number of dentists are moving into private practice. Of the 2,500 state-funded dental clinics in Hungary, 280 have no regular dentist.