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The purpose of healthcare services is to contribute to health promotion, education and recovery, to temper deterioration of health and to help the reintegration of people with altered health states to work and into the community. The institutional framework of the Hungarian healthcare system was constituted in order to serve these purposes.


Within this institutional framework, every person has to get proper medical care complying with the appropriate level of the healthcare system. To ensure and regulate these services, a referral order was established. If a health care facility cannot provide the appropriate medical care, the patient has to be redirected to another facility where proper medical care can be provided.


Preventive medical care

 The role of preventive measures and actions in aiding early recognition of diseases:


  • create and increase resistance against contagious diseases;
  • coordinating screening tests for early recognition of diseases;
  • early recognition of health damage arising from the individual’s living conditions, work and work conditions;
  • employee-health services;
  • further examinations related to early recognition of the patient’s other diseases;
  • examinations for early recognition of consequences and complications of the patient’s disease.


The institutional framework and the roles of the healthcare system

The Hungarian healthcare system ensures in- and outpatient medical care, as well as home care services.


The general description of the constitution of the health care system in Hungary:


Primary care ensures a continuous, long-term medical care for the individual that is based on personal contact. It is available at one’s place of residency or nearby, and care is available regardless of gender, age or nature of disease.  


Outpatient care is an institutional form of healthcare that requires specific competence, special materials, instruments, and medical expertise.


Inpatient care involves examinations, therapies, rehabilitation or nursing care (including long-term nursing) during continuous hospital stay or medical services ensured at certain parts of the day, or one-time treatments or treatment cures for the same purposes, after which observation is required, so that within the observational period immediate medical care is available, if needed.


On-call service related to primary care provides emergency medical care after daytime working hours in order to ensure continuously available medical care for patients.


Paramedic services and patient transport aim at emergency medical care of critically ill patients, and when medical care is otherwise not available. It also ensures the transportation of patients when needed.


Nursing care focuses on improving, maintaining, developing and restoring health, and relieving suffering whilst preserving patients’ human dignity. It also facilitates the involvement of patients’ environment into nursing tasks.


Hospice care means the complex care of patients with long-term, incurable diseases, providing physical and mental care for the patient, improving their life quality, alleviating suffering and preserving their human dignity until death.


Rehabilitation is an organized institutional form of health care provided by people coming from different segments of society for patients who are temporally or permanently disabled physically or mentally, in order to restore their health, thereby fostering their reintegration into society.


Pharmacies and medical aid stores form another important part of the health care system by selling drugs and medical aids necessary for medical care. 


People entitled to medical care

In Hungary, patients with social security coverage can get medical care free of charge. Every patient with social security coverage is entitled to adequate, continuously available (24 hours a day) medical care with unbiased, equal treatment.


People without social security coverage are charged after medical services. Exceptions include paramedic services, epidemiological and other emergency medical care.


The recourse of medical services is subsidized by the state, and the extent of this financial support is determined by distinct criteria. The subsidization is derived from the state’s central budget or the National Health Insurance Fund. However, there are certain medical services available for people with social security coverage, that are subjects to a complete or partial payment of the service fee.


Further information on the social security coverage in Hungary is available here.


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