impasse over reform to the health insurance system finally came to an end last
week after the two squabbling coalition parties came to a compromise deal.
– Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Hungarian Socialist Party and junior
partner the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) – had been at
loggerheads for months. The liberals wanted to let private insurers compete
within the system while the Socialists wanted a larger role for the state
compromise will see the current national fund replaced with between five and
seven regional bodies, majority owned by the state. Private investors will be
able to buy into the bodies (see main article).
agreement on reform, which covers healthcare issues, is expected to be signed
on 1 July. The SZDSZ’s parliamentary caucus has already approved the new health
insurance system. Gyurcsány said the reform could be complete by late 2008 or
reaction from the insurance industry was mixed, with some companies, such as
saying they would be interested. However, a senior figure within a major
international insurance company in
of anonymity, was less positive.
to be a compromise, which contains the key words supporters from both sides of
the coalition want to hear: competition and privatisation for the liberals,
state majority and regionalism for the socialists,” he said. “Presently it is
an empty framework…the wording could change the whole picture for the positive,
but could also demolish everything.”
that it could be a step ahead, but it is embarrassing that we do not know where
the road leads,” he continued.