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OECD Economic Surveys: Hungary 2012

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Hungary 2012

OECD's 2012 Economic Survey of Hungary reviews economic developments, prospects and policies and provides a series of policy recommendations. It also includes a special chapter on the labour market.

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Improving health outcomes and system

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.

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