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Hungary Takes Steps to Reduce Its High Rate of Lower Leg Amputations

Gábor Sarnyai 2019.03.25.

Hungary has the highest rate of leg amputations in the European Union for two reasons: diabetes and smoking. By raising awareness and implementing prevention programs, these dramatic numbers can hopefully be reduced. 

The Ministry of Human Resources (Emmi) has submitted a detailed proposal aimed at reducing the number of lower limb (leg) amputations, Magyar Nemzet reports.

According to the report, despite improvements, five to six thousand Hungarians undergo amputation every year – the most in Europe. Emmi’s goal is to cut this number in half by 2030. The National Circulatory Program and the 2019–2022 National Circulation Policy Program’s proposals are being developed with the help of physicians, cardiologists, vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists.

Prevention is key

In order to prevent vasoconstriction, smoking and circulatory disease should be cut by thirty percent, and the number of people leading a sedentary lifestyle should be reduced to ten percent. Diabetes often leads to leg amputations, and, according to Emmi, approximately 3-4 thousand amputations have been performed due to the disease.

Establishment of new institutions

The number of vascular surgeons in Veszprém has dwindled severely, and the Péterfy Hospital in Budapest is in such a poor state that it is unable to provide enough vascular surgeries.

According to Népszava, the Minister of State for Health Care has announced a plan to establish care centers equipped with a sufficient number of doctors. The development of the Gottsegen György National Cardiology Institute (GOKI) and the St. Imre Hospital’s vascular surgery department has already begun.

According to the newspaper, despite the planned improvements, the number of vascular surgeons available will still not be enough to treat all the patients in need.