Disease control preparedness likely to remain in effect throughout 2021
21. 12. 2020.
The way things stand at present, disease control preparedness due to the coronavirus epidemic is likely to remain effect throughout the whole year in 2021, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stated on Monday morning at the Carmelite Monastery in Budapest after he handed over deeds of appointment to the leaders of the National Directorate General for Hospitals.

Not before the end of 2021 “will we be past the crisis,” the Prime Minister stressed, adding that there will perhaps be easier periods after the first batch of the vaccine, and later after the arrival of mass supplies of vaccine, “but it will take minimum an entire year before everything returns to normal”.

He described the duties of the national director general for hospitals and his deputies as the very peak of the medical professional and health care management, and then thanked them for accepting these difficult jobs involving much responsibility. In the interest of the proper functioning of hospitals in the present situation, the heads of institutions and those who oversee them are also required to display skills which are not otherwise among the strengths of Hungarian public administration, Mr Orbán highlighted, describing the culture of cooperation as crucial.

The leaders of the National Directorate General for Hospitals will have to cooperate with the prime minister, the head of the Operational Group and the minister in charge of professional management all at once, he stressed. He added that, after members of the government, the leaders of the directorate general might have to work most in the entire Hungarian state administration. “In times of crisis, to stand at such a difficult juncture as you will be in the coming months is a difficult task, but also a privilege. The whole country has vested its faith in you. […] Don’t forget, every life matters,” Mr Orbán said in conclusion. The event was also attended by Interior Minister Sándor Pintér and Minister for Human Capacities Miklós Kásler.

The Prime Minister appointed Zoltán Jenei as national director general for hospitals. Earlier, he worked as financial director of the Somogy County Police Constabulary and Chancellor of the University of Pécs. His deputies: (Mrs) Bábiné, Gabriella Szottfried, Ildikó Bene, Bálint Szabó, Péter Takács and Tamás Tóbiás. At the appointment ceremony, Bertalan Havasi, the Deputy State Secretary heading the Press Office of the Prime Minister recalled that on 17 November, the government decided on the establishment of the National Directorate General for Hospitals in a decree. The directorate general is a centrally financed government agency coming under the supervision of the minister responsible for health care which functions as a central bureau and is led by the national director general for hospitals. Based on the decree, during the state of danger, the National Directorate General for Hospitals is overseen by the head of the Operational Group who is the Minister of Interior, he said.

The national director general for hospitals is appointed and released by the Prime Minister. The national director general fulfils duties related to the operation of state health care institutions, and exercises system-level and institutional controlling rights in respect of every element of the health care system. These rights are combined with robust employer rights, Mr Havasi said. He added that during the coronavirus pandemic, one of the director general’s most important duties is the management of the State Health Care Reserve.