First private hospital in Hungary built

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 13 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1768
  1. Carl Kovac
  1. Budapest

    Hungary's first private hospital, a £3.7m ($5.9m) facility comprising 50 rooms and 100 beds, for wealthy Magyars and expatriates who enjoy hefty corporate perks, is under construction near the village of Telki just west of Budapest.

    Coincidentally, the country's first American style health maintenance organisation, which caters primarily for foreigners living in Hungary, started in the capital in early April.

    Backers of both projects are betting on Hungary's expected economic growth and the emergence of private health insurance. Hungary currently has only one healthcare insurer, the state social security system, but the government is expected to open the health insurance sector to private competition.

    Scheduled to open in August, the Telki Hospital is being built by a group of individual investors, including two Hungarian doctors, an unnamed foreign organisation, and the Hungarian investment firm Bankár Holding Ltd.

    “We are building a luxury hospital for rich people; rich Hungarians and foreigners who have lived here for a long time and who work for multinational corporations,” said Gábor DiÓssy, Bankár's director of corporate finance. “We also hope to attract rich people from Ukraine, Romania, Russia, and other parts of central and eastern Europe where they don't have such hospitals. Our hospital will meet Western standards, but our fees will be lower than those of private clinics in Austria or Germany.”

    Most, if not all, of the hospital's services will be out of the range of most Hungarians. According to the Bureau of Statistics, the average monthly income in Hungary is approximately £125.

    According to Mr DiÓssy, the facility will offer more specialised departments than other general hospitals in Hungary.

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