Direct European Union funding needs to be secured for the development of health services in Budapest, joint opposition mayoral candidate for Budapest Gergely Karácsony said on Saturday.
Describing the current situation of health care as “dramatic”, Karácsony said that eight out of ten fatalities among people aged under 75 could be prevented if health services were better.
The condition of hospitals has deteriorated since the government took over their ownership from local councils, he said.
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He reiterated that instead of stadiums, new hospitals should be built. Karácsony promised that if he gets elected, he would use his veto rights and make it clear to the government which investments are useless for Budapest.
He also said that it would be unfair if Budapest residents and Hungarian citizens were made to pay by the European Union for “all the damage caused by the Hungarian government”.
“If they believe the Hungarian government is not offering sufficient guarantees for the fight against corruption and respect for the rule of law, then they should punish the government for this and not Hungary”, Karácsony said, adding that it would be desirable for the EU to directly support important investment projects and “the recovery of health care”.
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Opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) MEP Klára Dobrev said efforts were being made to ensure that it should not be up to the Hungarian government to decide where EU development funding should go because the result is corruption.
In the new system, local councils, education institutions, NGOs and research institutes could directly apply for development funding to the EU, she said.
Opposition Párbeszéd co-leader Tímea Szabó said Hungarian budget spending on health care is the lowest in the EU compared to total spending, while Hungarians are made to pay the most for health services. She promised that Párbeszéd would once again submit an amendment proposal to offer a 50 percent pay hike to health workers.
In the featured photo: Gergely Karácsony. Photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI