Human Resources Minister, Miklós Kásler, ordered the immediate suspension of national cancer-screening programs at the end of last week, 444.hu reports.
According to Minister Kásler, the decision was necessary due to the current hospital numbers as there is an increasing number of Covid-19 infections, suspected infections, and those in need of hospital care.
The suspension only affects the screening tests, all other oncology procedures will continue to be performed.
In his regular press briefing, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, also highlighted that the government only suspended the screening tests, but all acute interventions will continue as usual.
The minister’s decision is somewhat surprising given the fact that the number of hospital admissions has just started to decrease in the past few days in Hungary.
Independent MP Bernadett Szél thinks that with the suspension the minister, instead of improving the circumstances, is endangering people’s lives.
“The number of people in need of hospital care has fallen below ten thousand for the first time since mid-March, at which time Kásler suspends oncological health screenings – referring to hospital numbers,” Szél writes on social media.
According to the politician, these are life-saving tests, and Kásler, the former head of the national institute of oncology, must know the level of the harm he is doing.
This wouldn’t be the first controversial decision of Kásler’s.
During the first wave of the pandemic, the minister ordered hospitals to make 36,000 hospital beds available in preparation for the worst-case coronavirus epidemic scenario. Hospitals suddenly began to free up hospital beds to make 60% of their capacity available. Reportedly, this resulted in hospitals – often unexpectedly – dismissing patients who suffered from chronic diseases or were in helpless states.
Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI