Hungary signs €60 mln tied-aid deal for oncology hospital in Vietnam

History

Hungary yesterday signed a €60 million tied-aid agreement to support the construction by Hungarian companies of a 500-bed hospital for cancer patients in Vietnam, Hungaryʼs foreign minister Péter Szijjártó said yesterday. The agreement comes a week after 781 doctors signed a letter to the Minister of Human Capacities calling for more domestic health funding.

In a telephone interview with Hungarian news agency MTI from Hanoi, Szijjártó reportedly said the hospital will be the largest of its kind in south Vietnam. The minister added that as a number of other regions in the country have expressed interest in similar tied-aid arrangements, talks have begun on a $500 mln credit line, MTI reported.

This comes at a time when the Hungarian healthcare sector is said to be in critical condition. Hungarian doctors are reportedly leaving the country en masse for better opportunities abroad, while nurses claim to be understaffed and underpaid, and an increasing number of Hungarians are opting to use private clinics to circumvent month-long waiting lists customary in national health care.

Bilateral ties

Szijjártó noted that bilateral trade between Hungary and Vietnam grew by more than 10% last year, reaching €150 million. The foreign minister reportedly added that closer automotive industry partnerships, a higher threshold on Hungarian fruit imports and legal amendments that could benefit Hungarian drugmaker Gedeon Richter are expected to further lift Hungaryʼs exports to Vietnam.

Hungary will raise the number of Vietnamese students that will be invited to study in Hungary on scholarships to an annual 100, he said, MTI reported, adding that approximately 3,000 students from Vietnam have completed their studies in Hungary so far.

Szijjártó reportedly said that Hungary will also train another 100-150 Vietnamese nuclear engineers this year, according to MTI.

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