Hungarian Health Care: What is your experience

Another thread went off topic about Health Care in Hungary, I am reposting my comment. I hope others will repost their comments as well as others add their new perspective and experience about health care in Hungary (feel free to copy and paste from your earlier comments if that is easier than re-typing).

Why this topic is important: Health care can really be an issue, especially for those that retire to Hungary as Expats. Expats should know about what to expect regarding their health care in Hungary and prepare accordingly. The experience may differ if you are on the Hungarian National Health Care system, or if you are on an Expat or employer health care plan. So please indicate which plan you use in your reply.

Here is my experience (I use the Hungarian National Health care system):

A neighbor here where I live in Hungary cut her toe. The doctors cut off her toe. Then they cut off her leg. Then they buried her. I would rather owe money and be alive then get cheap medical care and push up daisies.

Someone I know broke his jaw. His father had to drive him to the nearest hospital (45 minute drive) on bumpy back country roads because the local hospital that use to be in our city was shut down by the government. We now have two ambulances as a "replacement" to the hospital, but they refused to take him to the hospital because he was not "critical". He said the entire trip bouncing in the car was the most painful experience he ever had. And what if he had an undiagnosed spinal injury as well and the ambulance refused his transport? In Hungary forget about suing for "pain and suffering" because of stupidity or incompetence; the concept does not exist in the legal system. You are just paralyzed for life.

An elderly person my wife knows fell very badly. He went to the hospital and the hospital made him walk across the street to buy his own pain killer because they had none in stock.

A friend of my wife's lost his wife because the nearest hospital that could treat her trauma was in Pécs, but she had to go to other hospitals before the doctors admitted that. They finally called in the medivac helicopter, but she ended up dying in the air.

And that is just some of the stories I have.

For most on the Hungarian National health system across the country, it does leave a lot to be desired.

Both my wife's parents are MD Hungarian doctors who worked both in Hungary and abroad (now retired). And even they are not impressed by the Hungarian medical system.

When I badly broke my hand in Hungary, I went abroad to have it set in surgery, and did the PT abroad as well.

That is my "2 cents" worth.

Today, from portfolio.hu:

.... the Hungarian health care system is a Prussian-type, pyramid-shaped formation with a plenipotentiary "alpha male or alpha female" (the heads of departments) who "have the power of life and death within their little urine-marked empire".

After my knee surgery I was given a pair of crutches a few min. Of instrutions on how to use them and then sent home. No escort out, no wheelchair just let loose.
Was not given any pain med either.
I just limped out no fanfare no goodbyes fromthe staff. In fact I could not even see any staff around as I left,almost like they were hidding.
Hopped into a cab and that was it.

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