Weekly newsletter

War of Words over Opposition-led Councils’ Vaccination Assistance for GPs

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.03.21.

The Budapest government office on Friday said it had received “multiple complaints” from GPs that left-wing district councils were failing to provide staff to assist them in the administrative tasks connected to the Covid-19 inoculation campaign. In response, the Budapest Mayor and 14 district leaders called the government office’s claims “lies.”

The working group coordinating vaccinations within the pandemic operative board asked local councils months ago to provide staff for GP offices, to facilitate duties such as fixing appointments and other paperwork, the government office said, calling the shirking of such functions “unacceptable”.

Local Councils' Offer to Help Vaccinate Public Declined by Gov't
Local Councils' Offer to Help Vaccinate Public Declined by Gov't

While Hungary is doing well in terms of rate of vaccination of the public, it underperforms in terms of vaccinations used, with a lot of doses still waiting in warehouses and the campaign also has its weak points. Due to these setbacks, Szombathely and Budapest’s (opposition-led) local councils have offered to set up additional vaccination […]Continue reading

In response, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony and 14 district mayors signed a statement calling the government office’s claims “lies”. Local councils are in regular contact with the “GPs doing superhuman work and provide all help possible under the law”, the statement said.

Local authorities are “ready and able” to aid the inoculation campaign by providing venues and staff, the statement said. The city municipality and district offices have launched several initiatives to do so, but “mostly only received political attacks in return”, the statement said.

The statement accused the government and the Budapest government office of “wasting time on vile and sordid political attacks while Hungary keeps hitting tragic records and its [Covid] mortality rate is among the worst in the world”.

“The government office and its leadership should finally recognise that there are no Fidesz districts and leftist districts when it comes to the pandemic protection efforts, only Budapest citizens who deserve effective action instead of political soundbites,” the statement said.

The government office’s duty should be to facilitate a swift and transparent inoculation campaign together with Budapest’s district local councils, the statement said.

featured image illustration via János Mészáros/MTI