Healthcare in Hungary

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Medical care in Hungary is of a good standard; medical staff are highly skilled and care facilities are relatively well supplied. The Hungarian health service has experienced all-embracing privatisation in recent years. It is now funded through taxation and by the Health Insurance Fund (HIF) known in Hungarian as the Országos Egészségbiztosítási Pénztár or OEP.

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The Public Healthcare System
Employees must pay a mandatory 3 percent of their income into the Health Insurance Fund. Their employers pay 15 percent of each employees gross wage as well as a single tax, which is designated as a healthcare contribution tax.

Employees contributions are deducted directly from their salaries. Employees must also pay income tax both locally and nationally and this contributes towards the financing of the health service.

Some companies offer private medical cover as a benefit of working for them. Eighteen percent of revenue comes from patients out-of-pocket patents for services like prescription medicines, dental treatment and rehabilitation.

All Hungarian citizens are covered by the state fund, regardless of whether they are employed or not. The government pays the contributions for specific vulnerable groups like pensioners, the disabled and the unemployed.

Registered foreigners who do not work and thus do not contribute to the state fund can only obtain emergency healthcare free of charge.

This includes basic services, outpatient services and in-patient treatment. Those foreign citizens who work and contribute to the fund are entitled to the same healthcare benefits as Hungarians.

The HIF provides every member of the fund with a social security card known as a TB kártya. You must present this card each time you attend a doctors surgery or hospital.

Fees
Citizens must pay cash fees to receive a hospital consultation or if they are admitted as an inpatient. The fee charged is in the region of 300 HUF.

Visits to doctors and dentists also incur fees, which are set detailed in advance. The patient may obtain a receipt on request. A consultation with a doctor is free as is ambulance transportation to and from hospital.