Hungary launches MSc in nursing to ease burden on doctors

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Medical schools in Debrecen, Pécs and Szeged will launch Master of Science in Nursing (MSc) programs in the fall with the aim of easing the burden on the countryʼs doctors, pro-government daily newspaper Magyar Idők reported Thursday, according to state news wire MTI.   

Regulations on the introduction of the three-semester course of study came into force last August, and the Ministry of Human Capacities has mandated József Betlehem, the head of the medical faculty at the University of Pécs, to coordinate the launch of the novel program, the paper said.

Nurses with MSc degrees can examine patients with chronic illnesses, assess laboratory tests and refill prescriptions, freeing up medical doctors to handle more demanding cases.

There were 35,854 practicing physicians in Hungary in 2015, the latest data from the Central Statistics Office (KSH) show. The number worked out to just under 37 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants nationwide, although regional differences are marked. The number of doctors per 10,000 inhabitants stood at 61 in Budapest, but under 25 in the underdeveloped northeast of the country. 

Statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that almost 800 doctors trained in Hungary left to practice in the U.K. in 2010-2014. During the same period, almost 1,000 left to practice in Germany. 

Hungaryʼs government agreed to raise base salaries of doctors by about 27% from last September and a further 12% from November 2017, MTI noted.

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