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A lawmaker of the opposition Socialists (MSZP) on Thursday harshly criticised the situation surrounding Hungarian hospitals and health care as outrageous and “chaotic”, in light of a recent law passed by parliament.

“What we have seen in the sector just this year are endless waiting lists, shortage of doctors and nurses, mass vacancies, closed-down wards, hospital-care related infection, unpaid hospital bills and graft,” Ildikó Borbély Bangó told a press conference.

She said that tens of thousands of patients die in Hungary each year because they do not get sufficient care.

Public Healthcare: Not Paying Contribution for 3 Months Results in End of Free Service

Hospitals have in addition amassed 70 billion forints (EUR 213m) worth of debt, which jeopardises proper care and tens of thousands of jobs in the hospital suppliers’ sector, she added.

Parliament on top of all that passed legislation on Wednesday which could result in 500,000-700,000 people losing entitlement to free health care, Bangó said.

The new law will roll the pension, health-care, labour-market and in-kind contributions into one from next year. Under the new law, private individuals who do not pay health insurance for three consecutive months will be barred from making use of state health-care services.

Bangó called on the human resources minister to take immediate steps to remedy the “untenable situation”.

In the featured photo: Ildikó Bangó Borbély. Photo by Attila Kovács/MTI