Hungary is in East-Central Europe with a population of less than 10 million that includes several minorities, the capital city being Budapest with almost two million inhabitants. Hungary is a member of OECD, NATO, EU, and the Schengen Zone, it is a parliamentary republic with a head of government - the prime minister who, exercises executive power. The official language is Hungarian. The economic situation of the country is relatively good. The most important sectors in 2018 were industry (25.9%), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation, food services (18.5%) along with public administration, defense, education, health, and social work activities (16.8%).

Healthcare budget

$10.5 billion


9.8 million

GDP per capita



HUF (1 HUF= 0,0027 euro)

World Ranking

GDP 53th

Statistics as April 21st 2021

Hungarian healthcare

Hungary has a tax-funded universal healthcare system, organized by the state-owned National Health Insurance Fund with 100% of the total population being covered. It is absolutely free for children (under 16), mothers or fathers with baby, students, pensioners (over 62), people with low income, handicapped people, priests and other church employees. Health spending accounted for 6.9 % of GDP in 2017, well below the EU average of 9.8%.

The public share of health spending (government and compulsory insurance) accounts for only slightly more than two-thirds of total healthcare expenditure.

Hungary’s Pharmaceutical environment

Hungary is one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in Central and Eastern Europe and was ranked thirteenth largest EU market for pharmaceutical products in 2017, accounting for 1.4% of the total EU market (slightly larger than the Irish market).

Healthcare spending in Hungary, as a percent of GDP, has been decreasing or stagnant over the last 10 years. In 2017, healthcare spending was 7.1% while in 2018 it was 6.9%.

International price comparisons and reference pricing is present in Hungary and any new drugs need to be submitted against the lowest European price, with payback and risk-sharing mechanisms control access and expenditures on new therapies. Patients & physicians can apply for Named Patient Reimbursement for non-reimbursed drugs in Hungary.

Todays challenges

With an ageing population that is driving an increased use of medicines along with the introduction of new innovative treatments the rise in pharmaceutical expenditure poses a challenge to health care financing.

By November 2018, Hungary's state-run hospitals generated almost $192 million in debt. Recurring hospital debt remains the biggest problem in the country’s healthcare system resulting in postponing diagnostic examinations, surgery, and other planned treatments.

The long waiting lists and healthcare workforce shortages especially in intensive care and anesthesiology, general practitioners and nurses are a major concern.

Expected life at birth is 5 year less then EU average (2017). Hungarians are among the heaviest smokers in the EU, but numbers have been decreasing recently.

Adult obesity is also among the highest in the EU, one in five adults were obese in 2017, a rate that has increased steadily over the last decade.

The expert in Hungary

Jiri Hermanek

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