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Improving Health Outcomes and System in Hungary

  • Mehmet Eris
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    Based on the latest available data up to 2009, the health status of the Hungarian population is among the poorest in the OECD, including countries with a similar level of income per capita. While this outcome has been driven by the socioeconomic status of the population and lifestyle risks, it also reflects the relatively limited effectiveness of the health care system, for which relatively low levels of resources have been available: total health spending amounted to 7.4% of GDP in 2009, lower than in other OECD countries with similar levels of income per capita. Although the health care system is generating significant health care outputs, such as doctor’s consultations and hospital discharges, problems with the quality of health services and the need to reallocate resources where they would contribute most to health outcomes suggest a need for reforms. Reforms are needed to address immediate challenges to stem the outflow of health care workers, reorganise care capacities, align incentives faced by providers and patients, and improve access to health care services. The medium–term challenge for the health care system is to increase available resources to significantly enhance health outcomes. As there are relatively weak mechanisms to regulate quality and prevent unnecessary care, further improving efficiency is also of key importance. This Working Paper relates to the 2012 OECD Economic Survey of Hungary (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/hungary) Améliorer les résultats et le fonctionnement du système de santé en Hongrie Sur la base des données disponibles jusqu’en 2009, la situation de la population hongroise en matière de santé figure parmi les moins satisfaisantes de l’OCDE, même en tenant compte des pays où le revenu par habitant est similaire. Si ce résultat s’explique en partie par la situation socio-économique de la population et par les risques inhérents à son style de vie, il découle également du manque d’efficacité relatif du système de santé, dont les ressources sont assez faibles : en 2009, le total des dépenses de santé représentait 7.4 % du PIB, soit moins que dans les autres pays de l’OCDE présentant des niveaux similaires de revenu par habitant. En dépit d’un nombre important de prestations, dont témoignent, par exemple, les consultations médicales et les certificats de sortie des hôpitaux, les problèmes de qualité des services de santé et la nécessité d’une réaffectation des ressources vers des secteurs où elles pourraient contribuer au mieux à l’amélioration des résultats de santé suggèrent un besoin de réformes. Celles-ci sont nécessaires pour faire face aux défis immédiats : endiguer l’exode des professionnels de la santé, réorganiser les capacités de soins, harmoniser les incitations proposées aux prestataires et aux patients, et améliorer l’accès aux services de santé. À moyen terme, l’enjeu consiste à augmenter les ressources disponibles, de manière à renforcer sensiblement les résultats en matière de santé. Compte tenu de la faiblesse relative des mécanismes permettant de réglementer la qualité et d’éviter les prestations superflues, il est également crucial d’améliorer davantage l’efficience du système. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de la Hongrie, 2012 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/hongrie).

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 961.

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    Date of creation: 23 May 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:961-en
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