Hungary - among the states who signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) -, acknowledges that children have the right to live in the best possible health condition and to be provided with the appropriate medical care to achieve that.
The right to health in this case, by definition, means that the state has the legal obligation to provide conditions that ensure a healthy environment for children. In that sense, children must be provided all types of care necessary for their good health. These criteria include GP Pediatrician care, children out- and inpatient services, health-visitor and school physician services, as well as compulsory vaccinations and other conditions and factors necessary for a healthy lifestyle, such as a healthy diet.
GP Pediatrician care
GP Pediatrician care is under the scope of primary care. The GP pediatrician can be chosen by the parent or the legal guardian of the child. The service is provided based on the agreement between the medical provider and the local government.
The GP and the GP Pediatrician’s activities, personal conditions and requirements of medical equipment are set out in legislation. Based on a contract, the GP Pediatrician service is subsidized by the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (Nemzeti Egészségbiztosítási Alapkezelő, NEAK) from the Health Insurance Fund.
For further information on GP Pediatrician service and on-call services visit the website of your local government.
Outpatient care for children
With the referral of the GP Pediatrician, outpatient service is available for children, where a pediatric specialist provides medical care for them. Occasional or regular medical care (in case of chronic diseases) is ensured at an outpatient facility. Outpatient facilities might operate as a part of a hospital or separately by themselves.
Inpatient care for children
Minors are referred to the hospital for inpatient care by their GP Pediatrician or their treating physician or another person entitled to issue a referral. Inpatient care can be ensured at a clinic, in a hospital, at specialty clinics or at national institutions.
The purpose of child inpatient care includes providing treatment for acute or chronic illnesses and assuring rehabilitation or nursing care.
According to the policies of the Health Act, the consent of the parent or the legal guardian is necessary for all the medical examinations or treatments performed on children, and the parent or the legal guardian has the right to refuse the intervention proposed by the doctor. It is notable that the treatment can only be denied if its refusal does not lead to a life-threatening event or permanent damage to the child. Besides, children have the right to be involved in decision making regarding they care, they opinions need to be taken into account according to their own understanding and maturity level.
The Health Act declares that the parent or the legal guardian has the right to be with the child during hospitalization if their presence does not disturb the medical care provision or the peace of other patients in the same suite. The Health Act also discloses that parents must comply with the hospital regulations during their presence at the health care facility.
Other medical services for children
Social security coverage ensures other medical services for children beyond the abovementioned services. These services include health-visitor and school physician services and the so-called “mobile” child specialist service. The health-visitors participate in child- and family care as well.
School physician service is accessible in educational institutions. “Mobile” child specialists provide pediatric care for residents at the medical center operating at the place of their residency.
Vaccinations for children
The Organized Vaccination Program contributes to children’s health by creating lifelong protection against certain infectious diseases. The compulsory vaccines are provided according to the Vaccination Order based on the age of children. The Vaccination Order is declared in the Annual Vaccination Guideline issued by the Nation Public Health Center (Nemzeti Népegészségügyi Központ, NNK).
Age-related compulsory vaccinations are provided by the Obstetrics Department and within the GP Pediatrician service, while school-year-related vaccines are provided by the school physician service.
Certain vaccines are not compulsory but are available with the consent of the parents, such as HPV vaccination. HPV vaccines can be obtained for seventh-grade students (both girls and boys) free of charge.
For further information on not compulsory but recommended vaccines, contact your child’s GP Pediatrician (see also: Vaccinations).