Expected life expectancy in Hungary has increased during the 2010s, but not as fast as in the majority of EU countries. Cardiovascular diseases are common causes of death. Behind the poor health statistics are factors such as smoking, high alcohol consumption and poor eating habits.
Health care has been criticized for having major shortcomings. Hungary is lagging behind the other EU countries in terms of the proportion of the Treasury going to the health sector (just over 7 percent of GDP in 2015) and according to the IMF, for example, the resources are used inefficiently. There are also major differences in the availability of care and the quality of care.
- Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Hungary, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Hungarian healthcare has long been plagued by staff shortages, as many doctors and nurses have moved abroad to get more paid. In June 2016, the government promised a 40 percent salary increase for doctors and pharmacists spread over two years. Other healthcare professionals were promised 25 percent more.
The population is also declining in the long term due to low birth rates. It has led the government to introduce premiums for those who choose to have large families, including cheap loans and tax reductions (see Calendar), in addition to free test tube fertilization. In 2010, Hungarian women gave birth to an average of 1.25 children (lowest in the EU), but the numbers have approached the EU average of 1.6 and the Orbán government’s target is 2.1 children per woman by 2030.
The risk of poverty or social exclusion is among the highest in the EU, with only five countries at a disadvantage. According to the EU, the social protection network does not provide enough protection for residents living in the most vulnerable conditions. The social insurance system includes sickness and accident insurance, old-age, widow’s and sickness pension, family allowance and unemployment insurance. Health care is free of charge for everyone covered by the health insurance system, but an old tradition of giving the doctor tips to get a quick and good treatment still exists. It is possible to receive care in private, even if the state healthcare dominates. The official retirement age is gradually increasing from the age of 62 and will be 65 by 2021.
In recent years, the difficult situation of the Roma and the lack of integration into society have been highlighted by both the EU and voluntary organizations. In 2010, the Roman fashion designer Erika Varga founded a fashion house that is followed with interest, as the Romanian minority is also economically marginalized. She creates clothes related to Roman tradition, but also other than Roma are among the customers. Varga also runs a mentoring program for young Roma on a small scale.
Hungary’s treatment of asylum seekers and migrants is another issue that is irritating within the EU and concerns of human rights organizations (see Current Policy).
FACTS – SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Infant Mortality: 4 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected: 0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean water: 100.0 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 98.0 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 7.2 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person: US $ 943 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament: 13 percent (2018)
Homelessness can be punished
Parliament is voting for a law that allows municipalities to ban homeless people from sleeping outdoors in certain areas or living in shelters; Anyone who violates such a ban can be punished with community service, fines or imprisonment.
Lifetime prison for murder of Roma
Three men sentenced to life imprisonment for murder of six Roma in 2008 – 2009. The men’s driver is sentenced to 13 years in prison. The convicted have neo-Nazi recesses and their brutal acts have provoked disgust in Hungary and the outside world. The verdict is welcomed by the European Roma Rights Center, which reported 60 cases of hate crimes against Roma in 2008-2012 and who criticized the authorities for not doing enough to stop or punish the racist wave of crime.
EU contributions are stopped
The EU freezes most of its development grants to Hungary due to deficiencies in how the funds are managed. If the government fails to meet EU requirements, the country could lose the equivalent of up to SEK 17 billion in 2013. This includes money for road construction and social programs.
The European Court of Justice approves an organization ban
The European Court of Human Rights states that the then Hungarian Socialist government was in its full right to ban the Hungarian Guard organization, the military branch of the Jobbik fascist party, in 2008. The court says that a state does not have to wait for a militant movement to resort to violence. After the ban, the Hungarian Guard has tried to re-emerge under new forms.
Communist leader Horn died
Former Prime Minister Gyula Horn (see Modern History) dies at age 80. Horn is one of those honored to have demolished the “iron curtain” of the Cold War, when in September 1989 he sent thousands of East Germans to West Germany via Hungary.
Right-wing extremists are allowed to demonstrate during a Jewish meeting
A court allows a right-wing demonstration outside the parliament when the Jewish World Congress meets in Budapest to discuss, among other things, the rise of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe. Despite anti-Semitic results at the demonstration, Prime Minister Orbán argues that zero tolerance should prevail against anti-Semitism in Hungary, but he is criticized by Jewish leaders for not marking enough against the right-wing extremists.
The principle of publicity is restricted
In a special session, Parliament decides to restrict the public’s right to public information from courts, authorities, government officials and others. The decision is made less than two days after the proposal is submitted. Citizens’ rights groups will then request information on a bidding process, where tobacco sales licenses are said to have gone to the government party’s supporters. In protest of the new Information Act, four human rights organizations are leaving the government’s anti-corruption working group on the grounds that this work is now meaningless.
Orbán ally takes over the central bank
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s close ally György Matolscy becomes head of the central bank. The appointment leads to a deputy head of the central bank resigning in protest of the government’s influence over the bank and the new bank manager Matolscy.