Bill would strip state hospitals of important source of income

June 21, 2017

A new Ministry of Human Resources bill would strip hospitals of the right to request compensation from the state health-care fund for hospital stays in the case of out-patient surgery requiring patients to be admitted to hospital owing to complications, reports Hungarian news site 444.hu.

Currently, according to the law, out-patient surgery facilities must contract with facilities that have in-patient care capacity, typically hospitals, in the event surgical complications require that an out-patient be admitted to hospital.  Until now, state hospitals received money from private same-day surgical clinics for maintaining extra capacity for their patients. According to the bill, state hospitals would be obliged to maintain the extra capacity free of charge.

The bill would also expand the scope of operations that could be done in out-patient surgical facilities. This would raise the income of such facilities already considered to be the most profitable in the Hungarian health-care system.

444.hu tried to contact the ministry to find out why it thinks it necessary to change the current legislation, but the ministry refused to comment, claiming it needed time to analyze the comments received over the course of the public consultation it claims took place. The ministry will only provide further information if the bill is finalised.

The online daily writes that if adopted, the law would deliver a serious blow to state hospitals suffering from huge debts, shortage of doctors and nurses, poor infrastructure and corruption.