Istvan Ujhelyi – Photo:

Socialist MEP: Government ‘turning health-care quality into a sovereignty issue’

Istvan Ujhelyi, an opposition Socialist MEP, on Wednesday slammed the government for not planning to cooperate in shaping the common European Union health-care policy, and accused the government of "turning quality of health care into a sovereignty issue".

Ujhelyi, who sits on the European Parliament’s public health committee, told a press conference on Wednesday, marking World Health Day, that he had written a letter to Ildiko Horvath, the state secretary for health care, asking how the government planned to join the EU’s European health-care union.

He was “stunned to learn”, he added, that the government had not wanted an input into health-care competencies laid down in the EU’s founding document or to participate in programmes shaping common health-care policy.

Ujhelyi said the government was “yet again” framing living up to higher, European standards as a sovereignty issue. “The government doesn’t want the weaknesses of Hungarian health care to show in European comparison on indicators such as nosocomial infections,” he said.

It is in the interest of Hungarian citizens and health-care employees that Hungary participates in the programme of the European health-care union, Ujhelyi said.

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