An attack on the entire Hungarian medical profession – reactions to bill on medical chamber

March 01. 2023. – 11:04 AM


Copied to clipboard

The government attacked the entire Hungarian medical profession when it curtailed the powers of the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors (MOK) in a highly discriminatory manner, as part of a conceptual procedure, the Hungarian Doctors' Trade Union (MOSZ) said in a statement.

The statement follows the Parliament's adoption of an emergency motion that significantly reduces the influence of the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors, among others by abolishing mandatory membership. MOSZ does not see how the curtailment of the chamber's powers would improve health care, the accessibility or quality of care, or the professional freedom of doctors. They do not believe that the decision is in the interests of society. They believe that disagreements can be resolved through dialogue.

"In the current desperate state of the health care system, there is a huge need for dialogue between those in the profession and the policy makers, and any disruption of this dialogue could have serious societal implications."

- they write. They also fear that as the decision was not preceded by any social consultation, it could undermine the country's negotiating position on the accessing of EU funds, further complicating the "urgent need for pay increases for health workers". The organization is asking all doctors to retain their membership in the chamber (their intention to do so must be specificaly stated).

The Independent Health Care Trade Union (Független Egészségügyi Szakszervezet/FESZ) was also "shocked" to learn of the decision. In a statement sent to Telex, they wrote that they believe that restricting the activities of organisations representing workers' and, through them, their patients' interests, is not helpful in solving the problems that are hampering healthcare.

They highlighted that the lack of health professionals continues to lead to long waiting lists for examinations and diagnoses, resulting in the loss of many years of life. The solution, they say, is the responsibility of the government, but it is necessary to consult with and receive proposals from health workers' organisations.

“Many government initiatives have been and are supported by the advocacy groups, but if they do not support a decision or express the need for one, it is because of the signals they received from the membership behind them. When disagreements arise because of divergent interests or views, it is desirable to resolve them through dialogue.”

- the statement reads. The FESZ also does not support depriving the chamber of its rights and has expressed concern about access to funding.

For more quick, accurate and impartial news, subscribe to the Telex English newsletter!