CT and MR scans of patients with suspected cancer to be accelerated in Budapest

English2020. szept. 17.Növekedés.hu

Almost twice as many CT scans and one and a half times as many MRI scans can be performed in Budapest from October on patients with suspected cancer. According to a new provision, these tests must be carried out within 7 days and patients must receive the scan report within 3 days.

From October, the Municipality of Budapest will launch a programme to reduce waiting lists for CT and MRI scans from the 2 billion forints provided by the government as part of the agreement at the end of last year, according to which the government will allocate an additional 50 billion forints to Budapest over the next five years, mainly for the development of GP surgeries and locally managed clinics.

Health advisor Gábor Havasi explained at a professional conference that the programme was in line with an election promise that no new stadium can be built until all patients in Budapest can receive diagnostic care without delay in Budapest.

At the same time, statistical data show that 26 percent of all deaths are caused by cancer; and some form of oncological disease was responsible for 5488 deaths out of the total number of 21,000 in the capital in 2019.

Gábor Havasi said that according to their calculations, the 2 billion forints will fund 31,588 CT and 9845 MR scans in the next year.

This will allow 88 percent more CT scans and 62 percent more MR scans in relation to oncological diagnostic imaging.

In the first year of the programme starting now, they will build on the existing structure instead of buying new CT and MR equipment, as they want to make the best use of the existing resources.

Initially, public service providers, such as university clinics and public hospitals are targeted, but all providers in the capital who could participate in the programme were contacted.

In the first round, they will contract 6 public service providers for approximately 30 percent of the total financial budget.

In the second round, private service providers will also be involved, typically institutions that provide such services to the state, as well, and the final contract with these providers will be preceded by a public procurement process.

The programme also tries to speed up diagnosis in another way: while the regulations today set a 14 day deadline for diagnostic imaging in case of suspected cancer, the capital will expect its contracted partners to perform scans within 7 days after referral. In addition, while the 14-day rule does not specify a deadline for the issuance of the diagnostic report, now it will need to be issued within 3 days.

The health advisor of the capital added that in addition to the 2 billion forints this year, the government will allocate 8.4 billion for the infrastructural development of the specialist clinics owned by the capital and the GP services operating here.