The corpse of a woman was found in a 9th-floor public restroom at a hospital Sunday, according to an announcement by the National Healthcare Center. The body may have been there for several days before being discovered locked inside a stall by a member of the cleaning staff, reports hvg.hu.
The restroom is in the visitors’ area of the maternity ward. Those visitors using the restroom could have been in contact with premature and newborn babies and mothers. The gruesome discovery has raised new concerns over hygiene in hospitals, and once again placed the conditions of the Hungarian medical system in the spotlight.
In an interview with tabloid Blikk, epidemiologist Lajos Ócsai said he couldn’t imagine how a body could remain undiscovered for so long. “If a restroom must be cleaned every hour at a gas station, what kind of requirements apply to a hospital?” he said.
Investigators on the scene stated that they do not suspect foul play, and that the woman appears to have died from natural causes. A police investigation is ongoing, and the Ferenc Jahn hospital has launched its own internal investigation.
Timea Szabó, MP and co-chair of opposition party Dialogue for Hungary (PM), issued a press release Tuesday criticizing the Fidesz government’s management of the healthcare system, calling on the government to take immediate action in the case.
“The death that occurred at the south Pest hospital belongs in sci-fi, and accurately reveals the horrific situation in Hungarian patient care,” the statement reads. “While the Viktor Orbán government spent more than HUF 15 billion on an invalid referendum and hundreds of billions on stadiums, it is increasingly dangerous to go to the hospital where there aren’t enough doctors, nurses, equipment, and now money for cleaning staff.”
Szabó also posted a video to her Facebook page of a visit she made to the restroom at the hospital. Her party called on Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog to immediately convene the Welfare Commission to investigate the case.