Brussels is keeping a careful eye on how the newly elected government will improve conditions in the Hungarian social security system.

GD/AD – 04/2018

The Hungarian right-wing government of Viktor Orbán won the parliamentary elections by a clear majority. His FIDESZ party won almost 50% of the vote. Hungarian electoral law, which is a mixed majority and proportional system, meant that FIDESZ was able to win 134 out of a total of 199 parliamentary seats, 91 by direct mandate alone. The second strongest party was the ultra-right movement ‘Jobbik’ with 22 seats. The ‘United Left’ (including social democrats) won only 20 seats. 

The Hungarian election campaign was highly emotional with promises to fight migration and foreign control, including a strong campaign against interference by Brussels. However, there are other issues that Hungarians are fired up about. One of the burning issues was, and still is, the public health system. As reported by the media, conditions in public hospitals have become even worse. 


A lack of investment, fully inadequate remuneration, deplorable standards in equipment and long waiting lists have made the search for treatment a fundamental problem. 

It remains to be seen whether the Orbán government does anything about the socially-financed health system, which, by today’s standards in Hungary, is discussed relatively critically. Critics accuse him of exacerbating the emotional debate over the fear of ‘foreigners taking over’ in a targeted manoeuvre to distract people from his government's failure to address blatant social ills in the past. After all, the decline in public health is nothing new and has been clearly seen for years. 


There have been no serious efforts to at least mitigate identified shortcomings, nor has any effort been made to tackle chronic underfunding of the system. This also explains the number of critics, the high level of frustration felt by employees in the system, and the growing suffering of those patients who cannot afford a private hospital.