Should politicians receive VIP treatment in hospitals?

While average Hungarians have to face long waiting lists, a lack of resources (and sometimes even rats) at hospitals, leading politicians receive VIP treatment. Critical voices are calling on them to end the practice and face reality.

Ivett Körösi
Ivett Körösi Nepszava, Hungary
Source: Nepszava
Should politicians receive VIP treatment in hospitals?

 - NewsMavens
Rat. Pixabay

Why this story matters:

The healthcare system in Hungary is crumbling:  basic items -- such as soap or toilet paper -- are in short supply, and several photos have proved that some institutions are in terrible condition. In one notorious incident a rat was once reported falling from a hospital roof.

Doctors and nurses are overworked. Recently there were several high-profile cases in which the directors and head physicians resigned due to the intolerable conditions at their institutions -- for which they no longer wanted take responsibility.

Leading politicians, however, rarely face the harsh reality since they are entitled to VIP treatment.

The issue sparked a debate whether those who lead the country deserve special treatment while the majority of Hungarians have to face a free but malfunctioning healthcare system.

Opposition politicians ultimately demanded an end to the VIP service but the motion was not accepted in parliament, where Fidesz has a two-thirds majority.

Details from the story:

  • The “priority healthcare of state leaders” was suspended before 2010. After 2011 the right-wing government of Viktor Orbán decided to bring it back.
  • Ágnes Molnár, an MP of the ruling Fidesz called the opposition’s demand a demagogy and said there was no correlation between VIP treatment and “the general problems of the healthcare system”.
  • The motion was presented by a socialist politician, Lajos Korózs.
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