In its latest policy roll-out before the election, the united opposition presented its plans for health care if it is able to form a new government. They promise to increase wages, create a separate ministry for health care, and reduce waiting times.
The first thing the united opposition will have to do if it wins the elections is revoke the current employment status of health care workers, said Jobbik MP László György Lukács at a press conference on health care on Wednesday. Lukács promised to return freedom to doctors and nurses while retaining and even increasing their salaries.
He highlighted specialists as being in a particularly difficult position, and said that the coronavirus pandemic showed that a separate ministry for health care would be needed, which is one of the foundations of their platform.
Gábor Havasi, a health care expert in the Momentum Movement and a health adviser for the Budapest City Council, mentioned that all Hungarians have relatives or acquaintances who have been waiting months or even up to a year to see a specialist or have an operation.
For this reason, in addition to the national health insurance program (TB), Hungarians are spending more on private health care for more timely services. The opposition’s goal, Havasi said, is to reduce waiting times through higher efficiency and better organization, and increase the survival odds for cancer patients through prevention and early detection measures.
DK politician Zoltán Komáromi said that Fidesz had ruined Hungarian health care, which, he believes, only functions because of the dedication of those who work there. Shortages of doctors and nurses affects all areas, including private health care, he said. Komáromi promised that their results in this area would be visible within a few months of forming a new government.
On their long-term plans, Komáromi said that in the next four years they would raise spending in the health care sector proportionate to European standrads. Wages need to be raised to a level where no one in the sector would consider leaving the country for higher pay.
These policies appear more limited than what prime ministerial candidate for the opposition Péter Márki-Zay talked about during the primaries. At that time, Márki-Zay promised that those who do not receive treatment within the state-run system within a certain amount of time could be treated at a privately-run hospital at the state’s expense.
In the past few days, the opposition has also rolled out its economic and social plans for next year’s elections.