93 hospitals under military command

Fully 93 of Hungary's hospitals are being overseen by hospital commanders appointed by the government, Zsolt Halmosi, the chief hospital commander, told parliament's defence and law enforcement committee on Thursday.

The government kept the hospital command system in place after its special powers related to the coronavirus pandemic were rescinded by parliament in the spring, Halmosi said.

Whereas in the spring there were 109 hospital commanders assigned to 108 institutions, currently there are 94 commanders overseeing 93 hospitals, he said. Of them, 48 are being managed by the police, 17 by the disaster management authority and 29 by the Hungarian Armed Forces, he added.

In addition, there are 19 social institutions being overseen by military or law enforcement officers, the chief commander said.

Halmosi also said that currently 11 hospital commanders are infected with coronavirus.

The main task of the commanders is to monitor and protect supplies and equipment needed for the protection efforts, and to ensure epidemiological regulations are observed, Halmosi said. They inform the authorities if supplies fall below the amount determined by the operative body, he said. They also monitor expansions of the institutions, he said.

Halmosi said the capacities are “currently adequate”, with 20,766 free beds for potential coronavirus patients. On Wednesday, there were altogether 29,158 people in hospital in Hungary, 7,691 of them with the virus, he said. Another 1,764 people were hospitalised with the suspicion of coronavirus, but their results had yet to come back, he said.

There are 2,564 beds with ventilators available, Halmosi said, adding that 643 are occupied.

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