Policy responses for Hungary - HSRM


Policy responses for Hungary

2. Ensuring sufficient physical infrastructure and workforce capacity

ENSURING SUFFICIENT PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND WORKFORCE CAPACITY is crucial for dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, as there may be both a surge in demand and a decreased availability of health workers. The section considers the physical infrastructure available in a country and where there are shortages, it describes any measures being implemented or planned to address them. It also considers the health workforce, including what countries are doing to maintain or enhance capacity, the responsibilities and skill-mix of the workforce, and any initiatives to train or otherwise support health workers.

2.1 Physical infrastructure

The Prime Minister announced on the 23th of March during a press conference that Hungary has 1.5 million face masks, 20 million pairs of gloves and 2560 ventilators. In addition, several airplanes are coming from China with face masks, gloves, ventilators and quick tests during the week of the announcement. He stated that Hungary has 19 431 doctors under the age of 65, 4312 medical residents and 690 medical students in their final year of education [1].

One of the private health care institutions in the capital offered its inpatient care capacities for the COVID-19 treatment [2].

The production of face masks has started in Hungary: face masks are being made in the sewing workshops of penal institutions around the clock. The raw materials sufficient for the production of 6.6 million masks had arrived from Turkey, from which 33,000 masks were being produced daily. The face masks made in Hungary had been designed primarily for the purposes of health care workers [3].

The government has started to expand hospital capacities both for the isolation of suspected cases and the treatment of COVID-19 patients. In the beginning of March, one of the buildings, under renovation, of a Budapest hospital was repurposed for the isolation of suspected COVID-19 cases [4]. On the 16th of March the building of a temporary (container) hospital began at Kiskunhalas, and a 330-bed capacity temporary facility has been established in Budapest in the exhibition buildings of Hungexpo, the biggest company in Hungary organizing exhibitions, international fairs and conferences [5]. On the 24th of March the military built a camp-hospital in the yard of the hospital, which has been primarily designated as a quarantine hospital and for treatment of COVID-19 patients in Budapest, and military installations have also been set up in other hospitals to provide place for the screening of patients prior entering the hospital [6].

In preparation for the acceleration phase of the epidemic, hospitals have been required to report data on key human and other resources and increase their bed capacity for COVID-19 patients by relocating existing patients. The Ministry of Human Capacities is enforcing compliance with the implementation of these measures.  Two hospital directors have been removed by the Minister for Human Capacities for not complying with the measures: the head of the Fejér County Hospital on the 11th of April and the head of the National Institute of Medical Rehabilitation on the 12th of April [7].

On the 15th of April an official announcement was published on the governmental coronavirus website that 50% of the total hospital bed capacity (i.e. 32 900 beds) need to be freed up by the 19th of April for COVID-19 patients. Additionally, a second phase will require 60% of the hospital beds (39 500 beds) to be available for COVID-19 treatment, with no deadline currently announced. [8] From the 15th of May, one-third of the hospital beds dedicated for COVID-19 patients were freed up for use by other patients.

In the middle of April, a large amount of protective healthcare equipment has arrived mainly from China (more than 15 million face masks, 6 million pairs of gloves, 1.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 50 thousand test kits, 900 litres of disinfectant fluid, 200 respirators). Sixty hospitals received protective supplies from this stock (17 hospitals in the capital and another 43 in the provinces) [9].

The production of Hungarian-developed respirators will begin shortly with a daily capacity of ten, Lt. Colonel Róbert Kiss a staff member the Operational Group announced on the 29th of May. The Budapest University of Technology and Economics prepared the prototype of the respirator [10].

On the 4th of September, the Minister of Human Capacities announced that 20% of hospital bed capacity should be dedicated to COVID-19 patients [11].

On the 25th of October, the Minister of Human Capacities announced that the designated hospitals for COVID-19 should free up 30% of their bed capacity for COVID-19 patients by the 30th of October [12].

[1] https://24.hu/belfold/2020/03/23/koronavirus-orban-viktor-operativ-torzs-sajtotajekoztato/
[2] https://index.hu/belfold/2020/03/16/koronavirus_jarvanykorhaz_budai_egeszsegkozpont/
[3] https://www.kormany.hu/en/ministry-of-interior/news/duty-of-hospital-commanders-is-to-facilitate-containment-effort
[4] https://koronavirus.gov.hu/cikkek/lehetseges-korhazi-karantennak-elokeszitik-kutvolgyi-tombot
[5] https://www.kormany.hu/hu/hirek/jo-utemben-halad-a-kiskunhalasi-kontenerkorhaz-epitese
[6]https://honvedelem.hu/cikk/segitseg-a-szent-laszlo-korhaznak/; https://honvedelem.hu/media/eloszuro-allomas-a-heim-pal-orszagos-gyermekgyogyaszati-intezetnel-3/
[7] https://index.hu/belfold/2020/04/11/kirugott_korhazigazgato_egy_ilyen_hiba_barhol_elofordul/; http://os.mti.hu/hirek/151442/emmi_az_utasitasok_be_nem_tartasa_a_betegek_ellatasat_eletet_veszelyezteti
[8] https://koronavirus.gov.hu/cikkek/korhazak-orszagszerte-felkeszulnek-tomeges-megbetegedesekre
[9] https://www.kormany.hu/en/news/today-60-hospitals-are-receiving-protective-supplies
[10] https://www.kormany.hu/en/news/production-of-hungarian-developed-ventilators-to-start
[11] https://koronavirus.gov.hu/cikkek/emmi-egyetlen-beteget-sem-kell-hazakuldeni-korhazakbol
[12] https://koronavirus.gov.hu/cikkek/kasler-miklos-bovitette-covid-ellatasba-bevont-intezmenyek-koret