As a member of the European Parliament and of the Committee dealing with healthcare, I have a
duty to meet this expectation, therefore, in the next period, I shall be especially committed to working
with the new European Commission on the establishment of a minimum standard of health services
in the EU, the guaranteeing of which will be obligatory for all Member States.
Countries that are unable to do so, due to economic disadvantages or the negligence of the
government in power, shall be entitled to receive targeted resources to achieve a minimum level of
healthcare that guarantees patient safety. The current situation – whereby the state of health, the
quality of life and, without exaggeration, the chances of survival of some of the citizens of the
European Community depend on which Member State of the EU they live in – is wrong and it cannot
continue like this.
It is also wrong that thousands of doctors and nurses are migrating from the eastern end of the EU
to the more fortunate western or northern Member States, able to provide the adequate material and
technical conditions. It is inconceivable that while leaving the management of healthcare to the
Member States, the EU just shrug its shoulder seeing the plight of some Member States. For
example, a recent country report by the European Commission made it clear for Hungary that our
country’s "health data are worse than in most other EU Member States, reflecting both unhealthy
lifestyles and a limited efficiency in health care."
EU directives and proposals are no longer enough here, especially since the Hungarian government,
for example, does not even consider them seriously. As a Social Democrat, I say that it is time to
invest in people and improve people's lives and their immediate circumstances with EU funds. And in
this mission, fair and high-quality healthcare must come first.
This was also confirmed by the thousands of suggestions and opinions received; there were
basically no instances in the consultation, where people would not mention raising the standard of
medical care. I have recently proposed in writing to the government the definition of sectorial
minimum wage for the retention of doctors in the health sector, but I only received cynicism as a
response from Fidesz.
As a Member of the European Parliament, therefore, in the next period, I will work to create this
minimum healthcare wage, if necessary, also by going against the Fidesz-government. That is why,
in the coming days, I will approach the future EU Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides and
initiate consultations on this matter.
Following the Hungarian PM’s landmark speech in Tusványos in 2014, in which he proclaimed his
desire to turn Hungary into an illiberal state, I pledged to draw the public’s attention to the
transgressions of this regime in an open letter every week. This is the 264th time I ring the bells of
alarm, as it still seems necessary. And also, because as a radical European Democrat, it is my duty
to do so.
dr. István Ujhelyi
Member of the European Parliament
6 October 6, 2019