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Health Ministry unveils healthcare sector reform plan

Hungary's Health Ministry unveiled on Wednesday a reform plan which would direct Ft 500 billion of the Ft 5,600bn in EU subsidies available in 2007-2013 to healthcare improvements.

The plan, called "Complex Programme for a Healthy Society", would reduce regional differences in Hungary's healthcare system, and emphasize prevention and rehabilitation over emergency and in-patient care, Csaba Dózsa undersecretary at the ministry said. He added that the reform plan would boost Hungary's competitiveness and narrow the budget deficit. About 5.9% of Hungary's GDP -- including Ft 100 billion for gratuities to doctors and hospital staff -- goes toward healthcare, a much higher rate than in the EU and OECD countries, according to a study by market research company Kopint Datorg and drugmaker Novartis, still, the quality of health care in Hungary is lower than that in more developed countries.