Migrants Reluctant To Undergo Medical Examination, Hungarian Authorities Complain
The Hungarian healthcare system can cope with the burdens posed by migration, but the lack of cooperation from migrants and the fact that they do not wait for the results of their screenings is a risk, state secretary for healthcare Zoltán Ónodi-Szűcs said at a press conference held at the transit zone in Röszke, southern Hungary. He said that given the current regulations, healthcare authorities went “as far as they could”.
Zoltán Ónódi-Szűcs (L) and Attila Kovács (R) holding press conference at the transit zone of Röszke
The state secretary pointed out that Hungary is often being accused of not lending sufficient assistance to migrants, but added that it is very difficult to do so if they refuse the help offered. Zoltán Ónodi-Szűcs said that basic healthcare facilities are available at the transit zones in the form of health centres for both adults and children operated by the Hungarian Armed Forces. When needed, paediatricians even cross into Serbia or go deeper into Hungary to provide assistance, he said. Since last April Hungary spent HUF 350 million (EUR 1.2 million) on medical services for migrants, he said, adding that this includes the costs of treatments, drugs, vaccines, screenings and transportation.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Attila Kovács explained that the healthcare system has three main duties: protecting the safety of the population and of those coming in direct contact with the migrants, as well as offering healthcare where needed. Hungary offers migrants the full spectrum of healthcare services available to Hungarian nationals. In case of suspicion of contagious diseases, migrants are sent to health screenings.
However, in the seven months passed this year, only some 350-400 of a total of 4,100 ordered health screenings could be performed, all other migrants have left Hungary, Kovács explained. He said that the epidemiological situation is well illustrated by the results of the actually performed screenings, which found infections of syphilis and hepatitis A and C. Due to the poor conditions during their journey, many migrants arrive carrying parasites, he added.