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Hungarian hospitals may owe 42.1 bln forint in debt

Debt at Hungarian hospitals may rise to Ft 42.1 billion ($189.5 million) this year because of higher taxes and energy prices, according to the head of the Hungarian Hospital Association. Planned gas price increases are expected to raise hospital expenses by Ft 3.3 billion, or 14 %, from the year before. Expenses are expected to rise by Ft 5 billion, or 25 %, next year, the newspaper reported, citing analyst projections. The state's monopoly health insurer is also scheduled to stop reimbursing hospitals for extra services beyond a pre-determined quota. This means regional hospitals may refuse to accept patients who live in a different region, and may use cheaper treatments for non-emergency operations, said hospital association head Ivan Golub. Recent news reported some of the future regulations for example that doctors would have to see each of their patients for not less than 5 minutes per occasion, which after a quick calculation it is quite obvious that this regulation would significantly put back the number of patients checked a day, and parallel to this it would severely reduce the income of the institutes. (Bloomberg, NG, Ng)