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Hungary's Health Minister is leaving office

Hungary's Health Minister Lajos Molnár submitted his resignation on Wednesday and Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány accepted it, the government announced.

Molnár will leave office as of 6 April and junior coalition party, the Free Democrats (SzDSz) is entitled to name his successor. “Speculation appearing in the press in recent days about personnel changes is groundless, the reshuffling of the cabinet is not on the agenda,” the government's press office has said in a statement only a few hours before it announced the minister's resignation. “The prime minister and the government remains committed to the continuation of the health care reform,” the statement said. “The first phase of the reform has created a difficult constraint for the long motionless healthcare system to adapt.

The first phase, along with inescapable disputes and conflicts, was successful,” the government said. “The next major task of the health care reform is to revamp the insurance side. For the success of the second phase of the reform it is indispensable that it will not be burdened by restructuring-related conflicts,” the government noted, adding that the measures to be carried out demand confidence from both the professional and the political players. The liberals have suggested the possibility of a cabinet reshuffle once the party elections were over. Markets have not reacted to the announcement. Until the new minister is appointed, Ágnes Horváth under-secretary, will lead the ministry. (portfolio.hu, gazdasagiradio.hu)