Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Healthcare in Hungary, today, con'td.....

20 years after the demise of communism, there is still "universal" hc. Over budget and under in terms of results, every year.
So, how does one go about, say, having elective surgery? Free on paper but the choice of the specialist will be influenced by the money you will have to come up with.Virtually every preoperative visit involves some out of pocket payment. There are no published rates, of course, so people ask around, find on the grape wine the "tariff".Exchanged into USD the "going"rate for a consultation is between 25 and 50 dollars. For the operation between 50 and 200 USD. Remember, the average pension is between 200 and 500 dollar per month. And well paid workers take home $1000 per month.
Do you need an MRI or Xray in a hurry, you will pay out of pocket. The wait for a "free" test may be long.
If you don't know the "rates", you ask around. Somehow the "right" rate is always found from others.
The reason for out of pocket fees is the low pay doctors, nurses get from the government. The squeeze on costs by any government is on-going. Hospitals lack decent budgets, labs need new equipment, new drugs come to the market.
HC budget almost never takes into consideration the progress of times, innovation in a centralized, state controlled system.
Private physicians, clinics, labs are available, if you have the money up front. Needless to say the best trained personnel and the most modern equipment is in the private sector.
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