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State takeover of hospitals has produced savings, health secretary says

The transfer of hospitals to state has generated significant savings, state secretary of health Miklós Szócska said at an event organized for Hungarian doctors working in Britain late on Thursday. Szócska said that a review of contracts held by the hospitals revealed significant differences, for instance in the tariffs that various hospitals paid for gas supply. Around a quarter of hospitals’ outstanding arrears was represented by payments due for energy services and 29% savings could be realised “already in the first round” by reviewing these public procurement contracts, he said. The hospitals taken over by the state represent a very difficult “heritage” but their situation varies significantly. Some hospitals suffered from a serious deficit but others proved to be sufficiently or even over-financed, as a result it is now difficult to set a good balance, the state secretary said.