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Hungary will introduce state physician visit fee from February 15

Hungary has delayed the introduction of a fee for state doctor visits to February 15 from January 1 because it needs more time to determine which patients will receive discounts on the fee, government spokeswoman Emese Danks said.

Some 4 million people will be fully or partially exempt from paying the Ft 300 ($1.5) per-visit fee, Danks said after the cabinet meeting today in Budapest. Visits up until now have been free in Hungary, which has a population of 10 million. The government also raised the age limit to pay the fee to 18 from 14, she said. The homeless and the permanently ill will also be exempt, Danks added. Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány's government is raising taxes and cutting subsidies to reduce the European Union's widest budget deficit. (Bloomberg)