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New Health Minister aims to attract private insurers

Lajos Molnár, who was picked as Hungary's new health minister on Friday, aims to scrap the state health insurance system and open a market worth as much as $700 million to private companies by 2008, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

The government's program, which will be presented to parliament tomorrow, calls for new institutions and rules that will allow insurers to take over from the state, Gábor Kuncze, who heads the Alliance of Free Democrats, said in an interview.
”We are going to set in motion a process that's going to end with the creation of a real health insurance system,” said Kuncze, whose party renewed an alliance with the Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány's Socialists after April's elections.
The country's National Health Fund Administration (OEP), which covers almost all Hungarians, has run a deficit for the past decade. The system is “incredibly wasteful,” Molnár said in an interview.