The COVID-19 pandemic that reached Hungary last March has been a great burden and an unexpected challenge for both employees and companies. It further complicated the situation that access to public health care during the pandemic was the limited or difficult to access. In our article, we examine the impact coronavirus has had or has on health care and how corporate health insurance can help employers and employees.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect access to health care?
One of the most noticeable changes caused by the pandemic were in inpatient care and outpatient care. Non-emergency surgeries were postponed several times, resulting in more than 28 300 people waiting for some form of surgery last June, which had already risen to over 30000 by September.
According to NEAK’s (National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary) website, most people are currently waiting for cataract surgery (9797 people), knee (6499 people) and hip replacements (5254 people). In terms of waiting time, corneal surgeries (such as keratoplasty, i.e. cornea transplantation) have the longest waiting list, averaging 840 days. This is followed in the second and third place, respectively, by the aforementioned knee and hip prosthesis surgeries. In the case of the knee replacement, the waiting time is currently 471 days compared to 365 in March 2019, while the latter may have a waiting time of 374 days compared to 291 in March 2019.
There is also a drastic increase in waiting time for open heart surgeries, which are now performed within 304 days instead of the average 56 days, but the waiting time for a discectomy is 51 days as well, compared to just 5 days; and for hernia surgeries 220 days instead of 21.
Under a government decree published last March, all public health screenings and outpatient care were postponed, in addition to surgeries, GP, paediatric GP and dental care were also restricted to emergency care. The GP could only be consulted over the phone, and dental procedures (such as the treatment of inflammation [tooth extraction], opening an abscess, or restoring a jaw sprain) were performed only in an emergency.
Medicover, the certain point even in uncertain times
Medicover, in accordance with the possibilities provided by the relevant regulations, continuously provided its healthcare services in its clinics in Budapest and in the countryside during the first and second waves of the epidemic, and, as at present, provided high-quality, accessible and affordable medical care.
In our clinics, hospital and advanced diagnostic centre, in accordance with epidemiological regulations, for the protection of customers and colleagues, the body temperature of patients is checked upon entry, and hand sanitizers are placed in the waiting rooms, receptions and entrances to avoid infection. It is mandatory for our clients, employees and doctors to wear a mask to cover their faces.
How can Medicover corporate health insurance help during the coronavirus pandemic?
Medicover’s corporate health insurance White, Blue and Gold packages all provide a wide range of unlimited outpatient and laboratory care, complemented by standard (e.g. X-ray, ultrasound, ECG, mammography) and extensive diagnostic (e.g. CT, MRI, visual field test) examinations.
Additionally, there is the possibility of an annual preventive screening, which can help in the early detection of various diseases, even serious ones, which can be treated in time.
In addition to unlimited outpatient, laboratory, and diagnostic services, corporate health insurance provides several additional benefits for both the employer and the employee. From the employer’s point of view, it is important to mention that health insurance is a more preferential-taxed fringe benefit (the total additional employer cost is 35.99%) compared to other taxable as wages benefits. Another advantage is that with the reduction of sick days, there is no additional expenditure or efficiency reduction in companies.
It provides security for employers, even in these uncertain times, to access high-quality, professional medical care quickly and easily, which can be extended to family members (children and spouse/partner). This makes the employee more committed and loyal, which increases the company’s competitiveness, reduces fluctuation, and also reduces the cost of recruitment, selection and training.
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