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.

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The Healthcare System in Hungary

This paper examines within an international context, the healthcare system in Hungary. While the system resembles in many of its broad features those of other OECD countries, Hungarians have the lowest life expectancy in the OECD and its rate of increase over the last 20 years has been much slower than in the rest of the area. The Hungarian health system is relatively resource intensive and is characterised by high hospitalisation rates, an excess supply of specialists and perverse incentives both for doctors and hospital administrators. Budgetary rules prevent hospitals from properly amortising investments and limit their capacity to manage labour costs. Furthermore inadequate supervision of billing by the state administrator has led to a fraudulent inflation in both the number and the “seriousness” of treatments. Recent reforms have concentrated on containing costs but efforts to improve service delivery and health outcomes have been plagued by problems of institutional conflict ...


Keywords: health, transition economies, OECD, Hungary
JEL: I11: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Analysis of Health Care Markets
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