Healthcare reforms to begin in April

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Structural healthcare reforms are imminent, online daily index.hu reported yesterday. The HUF 60-70 bln consolidation program is aimed at eliminating hospital debt. Under the new rules, hospitals will not be allowed to have an operating loss and will be required to pay their debts.

In order to achieve this, a new healthcare institution financing structure will be implemented, based on the following measures: a budget will be allocated regionally, by counties, by the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (OEP); each county will have one main hospital, while the remaining will be affiliated with it (except Budapest, where there will be six main hospitals); main hospitals will be open 24-hours a day for emergency services; coordination will be in the hands of regional committees; sourcing of facility management, food supplies, cleaning services, etc. will be centralized; and a portion of hospital administration tasks will be centralized. 

Earlier this week, under-secretary for healthcare Gábor Zombor denied rumors that based on government calculations, the planned structural reforms of the national healthcare system would result in the loss of eight to ten thousand jobs within the sector.

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