Hungarian Healthcare System
The healthcare system in Hungary is funded through the Health Insurance Fund (HIF). It is principally a comprehensive, compulsory system and is financed by both tax (for Capital costs on healthcare) and employment-based national health insurance scheme (for recurrent healthcare costs). In Hungary, the Minister for Health is responsible for health and health insurance. The responsibilities of the Ministry of Health covers health policy development, health sector regulation, strategic planning as well as ensuring the operation of the public health network and the healthcare system.
Health insurance contributions are collected from both employees and employers. Employees contribute 3% of their total income while employers contribute 15% of the employee’s gross salary. The population also pays local and national income tax, which helps to finance the investment costs of healthcare. Patients make co-payments on certain services, including pharmaceuticals, dental care and rehabilitation.
Universal healthcare coverage is offered to all Hungarian citizens regardless of their employment status, with the Government making contributions for certain groups such as the unemployed and pensioners. Non-Hungarians who are not insured are only entitled to essential healthcare services including basic services, out-patient services and in-patient treatment free of charge, in the case of an emergency or acute condition.
Expatriates employed by Hungarian companies are also entitled to free healthcare, same as Hungarian citizens. Non-Hungarians who make a payment to the HIF through deductions from their salaries can receive public hospital treatment. EU nationals are entitled to ambulant treatment in Hungary. Costs are reimbursed by their health insurance up to the quantity of the same treatment that would amount to in their home country.
Private hospitals within the country are much better equipped than their public counterparts, with state of the art modern technology and facilities. They are more in line with international standards but are relatively more expensive. However, many visitors take advantage of the range of different medical treatments such as cosmetic and plastic surgery, general surgery, dental surgery and other treatments that are at a much lower price than in their home countries. The majority of private medical care is financed through direct payments by the patients. Private hospitals often insist on confirmation of insurance cover or guarantee of payment before admitting patients.