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MSZP Calls for European Health Care Minimum Standard

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.05.08.

The European Parliament’s Socialists and Democrats party group has endorsed an initiative by Hungarian Socialist MEPs on creating a unified and minimum standard of health care across the European Union, MEP István Ujhelyi said on Friday.

Speaking at an online press conference, Ujhelyi noted he had launched the initiative a year ago.

The scheme dubbed “European health-care union” aims to give the EU greater control over health care in member states by setting minimum requirements and raising funding thresholds in the sector.

Hungarians in their own country should be entitled to the same quality services as a German, Dane or Maltese in theirs, he said.

Ujhelyi called on the EU to allocate “several times the current amount” to health care in its budget for the 2021-2027 financial cycle.

He noted that health care is solely the responsibility of member states. The government of Viktor Orbán bears direct responsibility for the Hungarian system’s shortcomings, he said.

Since it joined the EU in 2004, Hungary has received 700 billion forints (EUR 2.0bn) in EU funding to revamp health-care institutions, Ujhelyi said. Yet the sector is “in ruins”, he insisted, adding that Hungary has been spending a mere 6.6 percent of GDP on it. The European average is 10 percent, Ujhelyi noted.

Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI