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News2007May › Hospital Beds: Hungary learns to cut back, the EU way › May 2007

Hospital Beds: Hungary learns to cut back, the EU way

The European Union is a wonderful thing

The European Union is a wonderful thing. It endeavours to provide a level playing field for all its member states, as Hungary has just discovered.

Hungary is one of the newer members of the EU - it joined in 2004 - and it has been told it must phase out 9,000 hospital beds in order to be in line with the EU average.

Hungary currently supplies 780 hospital beds per 100,000 people compared with the EU average of 640 per 100,000. This restructuring will cost Hungary around lb72m (US$140m).

Lajos Molnar, Hungary's health minister, describes his country's health service as "excessively wasteful".

Too right, make 'em wait like they have to in the rest of Europe.

(Source: British Medical Journal, 2006; 333: 1140).

E-news broadcast 7 December 2006 No.316 [Subscribe]


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