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Inpatient care is ensured in inpatient facilities (hospitals) and is provided upon the referral of the patient’s GP, treating physician or another person who is entitled to issue a referral or upon the patient’s request.


Patients with a social security coverage are entitled to inpatient medical care free of charge if their medical condition requires inpatient care. Depending on the type of the medical service, active and chronic inpatient medical service can be differentiated.


Active inpatient care

In many cases, the time the patient spends at inpatient care facilities (hospitals) with treatments, preventive services or rehabilitation is predictable and is of short duration.


The purpose of active inpatient care, in general, is to restore a normal health condition, or if that is not possible, stabilize the patient’s condition, prevent the occurrence of complications, or observe the patient after certain interventions. 


Chronic inpatient care

The purpose of chronic inpatient medical services (in hospitals) is to provide medical treatment, preventive services or rehabilitation, all of these serving restoration and stabilization the health condition, when the duration and/or end of the service is unpredictable, therefore the medical service is of long duration.


Enlistment of the medical services, including inpatient care is determined by the following aspects:


  • Territorial obligation for medical care provision (Területi ellátási kötelezettség, TEK):the health care providers are obliged to accept and provide medical care for the social security covered patients who belong to their district of territorial obligation for medical care provision. In case of lack of capacity, the health care provider is obliged to direct the patient to another health care providing facility which can provide the patient with appropriate medical care within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Referring order: an organizational protocol prevailing in the health care system which determines the order of the medical services that can be availed in certain diseases and medical conditions. (e.g., the GP refers the patient to the appropriate in- our outpatient facility).
  • Progressive medical service: the principle of progressive medical service is that the medical services are built upon each other in a pyramid-like hierarchical system and regulation network based on mutual task sharing, of which purpose is to provide medical service at the appropriate level for every patient.


For details, see: Referring order


The services provided by inpatient medical facilities

The inpatient medical facilities provide the following services free of charge for patients with a social security coverage:


  • Diagnostic interventions, medical treatments, rehabilitation and nursing care provided during continuous hospital stay.
  • Diagnostic interventions, medical treatments, rehabilitation and nursing care provided during hospital stay at a designated part of the day.
  • Occasional intervention or medical courses after which the patient’s observation is indicated for a particular period.


Medical records and documentation contain information and data regarding the patient’s medical examinations and treatment. Medical records should be kept precisely reflecting the actual course of the medical service.


Inpatient services free of charge

Patients with social security coverage are entitled to the following services free of charge:


  • hospital service complying with the professional and ethical criteria;
  • diagnostic procedures;
  • treatment indicated by the treating physician;
  • medical service indicated by the treating physician;
  • medications, bandages and temporary medical aids indicated by the treating physician;
  • counseling regarding the treatment indicated by the treating physician, lifestyle management and dietary considerations;
  • diet indicated by the treating physician;
  • nursing and hospice care provided at the patient’s home, substituting inpatient care.


Inpatient services with a reimbursement fee

Aside from the abovementioned services, there are further inpatient services one can avail at the hospital. However, these services are not free of charge, patients are required to pay a partial reimbursement fee if availing those services.


Patients with social security coverage are entitled for the following services for a supplemental reimbursement fee:


  • for their own request, they can get access to wellness services (e.g. private hospital room);
  • residency at a nursing care providing facility


Travel allowance

Patients who are referred to inpatient facilities are entitled for travel allowance in the following cases:


  • if they are referred or cited to a medical examiner;
  • if they are referred to a facility with territorial obligation for medical care provision;
  • if they are referred to the health care providing facility that is the nearest to their place of residency.


Patients who are eligible for free traveling defined by legal act and choose to use another mean of transportation that is not included in the act, are not eligible for the travel allowance.


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