OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

In Search of Efficiency

Improving Health Care in Hungary

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.


Keywords: health, Hungary, OECD, transition economies
JEL: I1: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error