The lengths of wait lists have been a problem in Hungary for one and a half decades. Considering this, it is no wonder that the restrictions in public healthcare during the spring wave of the coronavirus pandemic resulted in even longer waiting lists. Although healthcare started to function “normally” as early as it could and many of those surgeries postponed during the lockdown were performed, some waiting lists are still shockingly long at the start of the new wave.
There are only three types of operations where the waiting period has shortened. These three are adenoidectomy (from 789 to 568 people), sinus operations (from 108 to 99 people), and prostate enlargement operations (from 652 to 76 people), mfor writes.
For all other surgeries, the waiting period considerably or moderately increased. For instance:
- Cataract surgery – now 10,421 waiting, was 259 in June
- Laparoscopic Gynecological operations – now 60 waiting, was 34 in June
- Thyroid surgery – now 51 waiting, was 4 in June
- Open-heart surgery – now 612 waiting, was 582 in June
- Coronary artery bypass surgery and stent implantation – now 1,613 waiting, was 1,510 in June
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As of now, there are not many people hospitalized with coronavirus, since the second wave mainly affects younger generations. However, based on experts’ forecasts, older generations can get infected within weeks – and that is the time for which the healthcare system needs to be ready.
To prepare the hospitals, Miklós Kásler, Minister of Human Resources, has ordered that 20% of all hospital beds need to be reserved for those infected with coronavirus, but no one should be sent home as a result of making the beds accessible. However, with the increasing numbers and the workload of doctors, it is more likely that the wait lists of today will not shorten but rather lengthen in the coming months.
Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Máthé/MTI