The basic responsibility of health care systems is to assess the society’s need for health care services and the capacity of healthcare providing facilities to provide such services, and, by harmonizing them, to ensure the principle of priority. In Hungary, waiting lists are handled by the healthcare providers under the supervision of the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (Nemzeti Egészségbiztosítási Alapkezelő, NEAK).
The rules for enrolling patients on waiting lists are legally set out. When a patients is enrolled on a waiting list, they have to be informed about the reason for waiting and the potential length of being on the waiting list.
Medical appointments in the outpatient care
Based on their financing arrangements, outpatient care services have the capacity for a defined number of patients/day, therefore they give appointments (defining the exact date and time of medical service) for patients in order to ensure continuous and unproblematic medical care.
Appointments can be made in person, by telephone or via the internet.
You will be asked to give the following personal data:
- place and date of birth,
- place of residency,
- social security (TAJ) card number.
Additionally, you might be asked for a referral (for medical services available with or without a referral see this article) – if you set up an appointment via telephone or internet, you have to give the reference number that is written on the referral.
Patient acceptance list
If the patient – based on their condition – is not entitled to immediate medical care, the order of care at outpatient departments is determined by patient acceptance lists, which are compiled based on patients’ appointments. Thereby, it is easier for the patients to plan their visits to the doctor, and they will receive medical service soon after their arrival.
Despite their appointments, the patients still might have to wait, because outpatients departments also have to ensure medical care for those patients who arrive with an “urgent” referral.
Institutional waiting lists in the inpatient care
In Hungary, elective surgeries can be scheduled when the patients’ disease occur – deviation from this protocol is only possible for legitimate reasons. Patients, however, may choose a later date for the intervention than the assigned appointment.
Institutional waiting lists have to be kept on the following services:
- cataract surgeries;
- tonsil surgeries (nasal and oral);
- surgeries of nasal sinuses and the mastoid process;
- knee and hip-prosthetic surgeries;
- spine-stabilization and spinal deformity surgeries;
- hernial disc surgeries;
- surgeries related to cholecystolithiasis;
- laparoscopic surgeries for cholecystolithiasis;
- gallstone lithotripsy;
- abdominal and inguinal hernia surgeries with mesh implantation;
- hernia repairs (abdominal, inguinal, umbilical, and thigh) without mesh implantation;
- diagnostic coronarography, electrophysiological examination;
- radiofrequency ablation;
- coronary stenting;
- surgeries for benign prostate hyperplasia;
- non-dysplastic gynecological surgeries.
Keeping waiting lists is mandatory for procedures which cannot be performed on a regular basis, because of the lack of capacity (when the length of waiting is more than 60 days) of the health care facility.
Patients are registered in the system by their treating physicians, thereby the patient gets enrolled on the waiting list of the medical service providing facility. At the same time, the patients receive their personal secret identification number with which they can track their medical records and their scheduled interventions in the waiting list system.
On 1 July 2012, NEAK launched the National Institutional Waitlist Registry (SOR_REND system), which keeps a detailed register of the patients on waiting lists, the exact date they got enrolled into the lists, and other information on the scheduled interventions, including data on the medical service and the end of the process. Every patient can track the waiting lists and appointment lists in the register.
If the patients have questions, they can ask the medical provider facility directly.
Central waiting list
The central waiting list is the register of patients who are waiting for high-expense medical services, organ transplantation (transplantation waiting list) or stem cell transplantation. The central waiting list is coordinated by the Országos Vérellátó Szolgálat (OVSZ).
The data of the central, transplantation waiting lists are collected by the Transplantation Committees from medical service providing facilities.
The data contain information on the followings:
- adult bone-marrow transplantation;
- child bone-marrow transplantation;
- heart transplantation;
- liver transplantation;
- lung transplantation;
- kidney transplantation;
- kidney and pancreas transplantation;
- PET scan;
- gamma-knife surgery.
Click HERE for reaching the central waitlist.
Actual average waiting time: it shows that in the recent period how much time on average the patients had to wait for certain procedures. Click HERE for the list.
Scheduled average waiting time: it shows the scheduling, the date when a specific procedure (e.g. surgery) is scheduled for. Click HERE for the list.