The united opposition plans to spend an extra 1,200 billion forints (EUR 3.4 billion) in four years on Hungarian healthcare, its prime ministerial candidate told a forum on Friday.
The extra funding would reform healthcare in line with European market methods rather than operating a centralised “communist system”, Péter Márki-Zay told a press conference in front a district health clinic in Budapest.
He accused the Fidesz government of regarding healthcare purely as a business and running public healthcare into the ground so that the only option remaining to the sick would be to use hospitals owned by “Fidesz oligarchs”.
The politician vowed to revamp Hungary’s healthcare and to fund it through a single national insurance model.
He said patients waiting more than six months for surgery would be referred to a private provider and the state would pick up the bill.
Márki-Zay claimed to be in possession of “inside information” suggesting that Fidesz planned to privatise healthcare after the election.
He said Hungarians currently pay 30 percent of their healthcare costs out of their own pocket, which, he added, was “the highest rate in the EU”.
Funding for Hungary’s healthcare system, he said, would increase to 7 percent of gross national product — the EU average — from 4.5 percent last year in four years.
Márki-Zay also promised health professionals a “significant salary increase”.
In response, ruling Fidesz said in a statement that “the Left would reintroduce pay-for health services”. They said the opposition plans were in fact aimed at “drastic privatisation” in the health sector.
featured photo via Péter Márki-Zay’s Facebook page