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In Search of Efficiency: Improving Health Care in Hungary

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  • Alessandro Goglio

Abstract

One area where spending discipline will become increasingly important in Hungary is health care. This paper describes the structure of the health care system, highlights outstanding weaknesses and considers ways to make financing more stable and sustainable. The slow progress in modernising the health care system is reflected in the low efficiency of hospitals, excessive recourse to inpatient care and heavy prescription of drugs by doctors. The paper discusses ways to modernise the hospitals, including options for giving them more scope in managing resources and greater incentives to introduce efficiency enhancing improvements. To help reduce unnecessary use of inpatient services, mechanisms are suggested for strengthening the “gatekeeping” function of general practitioners and for reinforcing controls over treatment decisions. The paper also considers ways to contain the cost of subsidies to pharmaceutical companies. A la recherche de l'efficience : Améliorer le service de santé en Hongrie La santé est l’un des secteurs où la maîtrise des dépenses va devenir de plus en plus importante. Le présent document décrit la structure du système de soins de santé, met en lumière ses principales faiblesses et examine les moyens de stabiliser et de pérenniser son financement. La lenteur des progrès accomplis dans la voie de la modernisation du système de soins de santé se traduit par un manque d’efficience des hôpitaux, un recours excessif aux soins hospitaliers et une prescription abusive de médicaments. Diverses pistes sont envisagées pour moderniser les hôpitaux, consistant notamment à leur laisser plus de latitude pour gérer leurs ressources et à les inciter davantage à améliorer leur efficience. Afin d’optimiser l’utilisation des services hospitaliers, des mécanismes sont proposés pour renforcer la fonction de filtrage exercée par les médecins généralistes et pour contrôler plus efficacement les décisions thérapeutiques. Enfin, les moyens d’endiguer le coût des transferts au profit des sociétés pharmaceutiques seront examinés.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Goglio, 2005. "In Search of Efficiency: Improving Health Care in Hungary," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 446, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:446-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/062258555125
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    Cited by:

    1. Nagy, Balázs, 2010. "Egy hiányzó láncszem?. Forráselosztás a magyar egészségügyben
      [Resource allocation in Hungarian health care - is there a missing link?]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(4), pages 337-353.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; Hongrie; Hungary; OCDE; OECD; santé; transition economies; économie en transition;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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