The number of vacant GP practices in Hungary increased by 107 last year, leaving 571 practices empty. The number of permanently vacant practices is also rapidly rising, and this trend is unlikely to reverse in the near future as medical professionals continue to age.
Between 2010 and 2016, the number of vacant practices increased at an accelerating rate as we moved forward in time, with annual vacancy rate increases of 10-20-40 per year, according to Menedzsment Fórum’s data from two years ago.
In 2017, the number of empty practices increased by only four. However, this did not last long, as from 2018 mass vacancies were on the rise, and the pace of this trend has been rapidly increasingly. Three years ago, 53 new vacancies were reported compared to the previous year, while the year before last the number increased by 62. According to the latest final accounts, there was an even bigger jump last year- the number of vacant GP practices in Hungary increased by 107 in one year. This means that 571 practices are vacant.
According to the paper, the age profile of GPs in practice does not suggest a positive change in the near future. 24.hu summarizes it as follows:
- In 2018, the average age of active GPs was 58.2 years, with a peak of 64 years, and 90 percent of GPs were 72 years old.
- In 2019, their average age had increased to 58.5 years, while the peak remained at 64 years and 90 percent were still 72 years old.
- By the end of 2020, however, the average age had increased to 58.8 years, with a peak of 66 years and 90 percent of GPs aged 73.
The number of practices that have been permanently vacant for more than a year is also increasing rapidly year by year. While three years ago there were 284 such practices in the country, the year before last there were already 340 and 402 by December of last year.
Featured image: László Gerzon, GP, prepares the vaccine against the coronavirus at his office in Kemecse on 26 May 2021, via Attila Balázs/MTI