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LMP: GOVT MEASURES STRIP JOBLESS, POOR OF EMERGENCY HEALTH CARE

 

The opposition LMP party has accused the government of introducing measures that would strip anyone who cannot pay their health insurance contributions of essential emergency services from January. Anyone who loses their job and cannot afford to pay the contributions from their own pockets could be forced to pay “hundreds of thousands of forints” when using health-care services, LMP co-leader Máté Kanász-Nagy told an online press conference. The measures would return health coverage in Hungary to “a pre-war level”, he said. He noted that teachers will not automatically receive their full salaries if they are forced to go on sick leave due to the coronavirus pandemic. Granting full pay will be up to school supervisory bodies, he noted, adding that teachers were at extreme risk of contracting the virus. Referring to an article by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán published in Monday’s Magyar Nemzet, Kanász-Nagy insisted that the prime minister was “the only neoliberal in Hungary right now”, and was dismantling the welfare state and “societal rights”. Kanász-Nagy said LMP believed in a “green, social state” where basic services are free of charge. In the midst of the emergency situation brought about by the coronavirus epidemic, it is especially important to guarantee emergency services and full salaries during sick leave. LMP, he added, calls for jobless benefits for a period of nine months, he said.