Tens of thousands of Hungarians suffer preventable deaths each year. This is partly down to the lack of investment in the national health care system. Here we present some interesting demographic data. As reported by 24.hu, Hungary’s population peaked at 10.7 million in the 1980s, and it has been steadily declining ever since. Hungary’s death rate was under 100,000 per year in the 1950s and 1960s, and since 1993 it has been increasing. Indeed, Hungary’s annual death rate in 2018 was at 131,000, which is especially daunting when we consider that the population in the 1950s and 1960s was slightly higher than today. Hungary’s birth rate does not look promising either; in the last three years, it has been declining year-on-year to the extent that it is unable to surpass the country’s death rate. Based on statistics from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH), the difference between the death rate and birth rate in 2018 was 41,000 persons. Despite deaths from suicides and accidents decreasing, the number of people passing away due to cancer and respiratory diseases is increasing. This could be linked to people living longer and high levels of pollution in cities respectively. When compared to health statistics from other Central European countries, Hungary performs really poorly. The number of deaths that could have been prevented is highest in the region, with 385 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. This means that 37,000 people die of preventable deaths in the country, which is 89% worse than the EU average. However, there is a reason for some level of optimism; compared to the rest of the region, in the last few years, the number of preventable deaths has been reducing the fastest in Hungary. Every year Hungarians are living longer. On the other hand, life expectancy in Hungary is still below the EU average, especially for men. The Hungarian government is also limiting the amount of money it pumps into the health care system. Hungary spends 7.4% of its GDP on health care, which is 22% and 10% lower than the Czech Republic and Slovakia respectively. Government expenditure in the public sector has decreased by 13% between 2003 and 2016, which has contributed to the high number of preventable deaths that have occurred in the country. When adjusted to the size of the country and economy, Hungary spends 1/3 of what Germany spends on its health care system, showing a clear direction in which government expenditures should be channelled in. Last month we reported that 30,000 people die in Hungary before retirement. Due to the city’s poor air quality, Budapest experienced terrible smog previous week.
Sources : 24.hu, ksh.hu & dailynewshungary.com