The government has announced plans to cut 755 billion Ft. (US $2.30 billion) in spending, and a resolution published in the Official Gazette shows where some of the money is going to come from. There are still many question marks about the details, but what appears certain is that all funding for next year’s Healthy Budapest program will be cut.
“Hungary has received a huge austerity package for Christmas from the Orbán government,” responded Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony (pictured) on Facebook to the news.
Referring to the Healthy Budapest program cuts, Karácsony wrote:
This program, which we had to fight with the government to get after the municipal elections [in 2019], saves lives. Because this program reduces and eliminates waiting lists, it means the early detection of cancer diagnoses, and we know that timely screenings can be a life-saver for many.
A little over three weeks ago, the mayor announced that the capital would not veto holding the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest after aid for health care from the national government arrived in the city’s coffers, albeit late.
The question now is whether the Budapest City Council will revisit the possibility of vetoing the major event now that funding for the program will not be forthcoming next year.