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Increasing labor shortages afflict Hungarian healthcare

Hungarian healthcare is suffering an over 5% shortage of expert staff, according to data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH). However, a survey by the Chamber of Hungarian Healthcare Professionals (MESzK), indicates two or three times as many vacancies in the sector.

KSH data reveal that some 42,000 doctors and 104,000 nurses are employed in the sector, with 3.8% of doctorʼs jobs and 3.4% of specialized healthcare jobs currently unfilled, business daily Világgazdaság reported Friday.

The biggest problem is apparent in inpatient care, where the shortfall of doctors reaches 6.2%, and the shortage of specialized healthcare workers more than 5%.

The MESzK survey paints an even bleaker picture, indicating that twice or three times as many jobs remain unfilled.

"The greatest lack of specialists is in Central Hungary and Western Hungary," says MESzK President Zoltán Balogh. "The capital and the bigger cities are the worst affected, where the greatest number of work opportunities exists, and where other sectors lure staff away from a career in healthcare."

A nationwide survey by the organization last year, which involved half of the countryʼs inpatient care providers, showed a shortfall in specialized staff of as much as 15-20%. A mere 4% of respondents described the headcount as adequate, while most predicted that the situation could become critical within five years due to growing numbers of pensioners and a lack of new employees in the sector.