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Hungary to set up independent fund for healthcare research

Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics on Wednesday announced plans to set up an independent fund for research in the areas of medicine, health science and healthcare, Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

The fund will start operating from 2021, Palkovics said at a press conference after talks with the rectors of Hungaryʼs four medical schools.

Palkovics, whose ministry now has oversight of higher education in Hungary, said he wants to see the operating environment of universities "significantly streamlined." He said financing of medical schools, where instruction in theory and training are closely tied, needs to be more transparent and sustainable.

Palkovics also announced the establishment of a Council of University Clinics by the four medical schools and the Ministry for Innovation and Technology.

The minister said that cooperation between universities at the local and the international level should be strengthened, noting that an earlier goal to raise the ratio of foreign students at Hungarian institutions of higher education from 8% to 15% had been achieved, with 35,000 foreign nationals now studying at colleges and universities in Hungary.

Györgyi Lengyel, Palkovicsʼs commissioner for the healthcare economy, said a broad new strategy for the healthcare industry had been drafted and could be discussed by the cabinet in November.