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After the last year and a half of extreme strain on the healthcare system, Hungarian hospitals could be facing major changes, RTL News reports. According to a new plan by Hungary’s national hospital directorate (OKFŐ), seven hospitals would no longer provide active patient care, one of them wouldn’t provide longterm care, and another 13 hospitals would no longer perform surgeries.

According to OKFŐ’s recently created document obtained by RTL News, town hospitals would mainly provide outpatient care, same-day surgery, and chronic care, while major operations would be performed exclusively by county hospitals.

Giving birth would only be possible during the day in small town hospitals, while expectant mothers would have to go to the county hospital during on-call hours.

Elective Surgeries Resume, Waiting Lists Unlikely to Soon Diminish
Elective Surgeries Resume, Waiting Lists Unlikely to Soon Diminish

The postponable operations have been on hold since November 10th, but due to the outbreak, all of last year was bumpy in this matter.Continue reading

Also, nearly 2,500 active beds would be removed, and procedures requiring specialized knowledge or medical equipment would be carried out exclusively in regional centers, typically at universities or central hospitals.

In response to the plans, OKFŐ told RTL News that the document is a working draft and no decision has been made about its content.

The directorate added that its basic principle is not to close an institution, but that the quality of patient care is important.

OKFŐ also noted that Hungary has more active hospital beds than needed, but the aging population means that an increasing number of beds for patients with chronic conditions are necessary, and this problem needs to be addressed.

Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI