Rásky: “Hungarian hospitals have stopped paying their suppliers”

December 24, 2014

Eger hospital

Although state budgetary institutions managed to decrease their arrears by some HUF 10.8 billion (USD 42.2 million)  in November, as of the end of that month they owed a total of HUF 107.9 billion (USD 423 million) to suppliers and third-party service providers.  Napi.hu reports that more than three-fourths of the arrears were on the part of institutions belonging to the Ministry for Human Resources, including state universities and state health care facilities.

HUF 12 billion (USD 47 million) of this is owed to suppliers to EU- funded projects, which represents a HUF 1.6 billion (USD 6.3 million) decrease over the end of October.  Of the total arrears HUF 33.4 billion (USD 128.8 million) is less than 30 days past due, HUF 21.8 billion (USD  85.5 million) is between 30 and 60 days past due, and HUF 49.2 billion (USD 189.7 million) is more than 60 days past due.  Of this, some HUF 99.7 billion (USD 384.5 million) is owed to suppliers.

According to the State Treasury, HUF 57.7 billion (USD 222.2 million), or 53.5 percent of the total arrears, was assumed by the state from local governments and non-profit and other economic entities in 2012.  (In other words, the government’s decision to nationalize all hospitals in 2012 was never properly funded.-ed).

According to László Rásky, general secretary for the Association of Medical Technicians, hospitals effectively stopped paying suppliers in October.

Payment arrears on the part of Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county’s Hetényi Géza Hospital and Clinic reportedly increased in November from HUF 2.3 billion (USD 8.9 million) to HUF 3 billion (USD 11.6 million).  The debts of the Military Hospital administered by the Ministry of Defense reportedly exceeded HUF 4 billion (USD 15.6 million) as of the end of November.

Arrears on the part of Budapest’s medical university, SOTE, increased from HUF 2.8 billion (USD 11 million) to HUF 3.4 billion (USD 13.3 million), and those of the University of Szeged from HUF 2.4 billion (USD 9.4 million) to HUF 2.8 billion (USD 11 million).

But it’s not all bad news!  According to the official figures, the Universities of Pécs managed to decrease their arrears by some HUF 50 million (USD 196,000) from HUF 4.5 billion (USD 17.65 million) to HUF 4.45 billion (USD 17.45 million)

Last week the government announced that only HUF 10 billion (USD 39 million) would be paid out in December for some HUF 30 billion (USD 117 million) of health services provided in October.   Institutes caring for out-patients (one in four patients presently being treated) are reportedly to receive nothing in December for services provided in October.

It remains to be seen whether this will remain the case in light of Monday’s announcement by the Ministry for National Economy that Hungary actually experienced a budget surplus in November of HUF 95.9 billion (USD 369.7 million) year-on-year thanks to an increase in excise tax and personal income tax revenue.