Tech & Rights

A New Campaign for Child-Friendly Healthcare in Hungary

A new initiative in Hungary seeks to guarantee the right of children to have their parents stay with them in hospitals, as guaranteed under a 1998 healthcare act that has yet to be fully implemented.

by Hungarian Civil Liberties Union
Photo: Daniel Hoherd - Flickr/CC content

The "I have a child with me" campaign, launched this April by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, wants every hospital in Hungary to ensure that parents of ill children are able to stay with them during their recovery, even for several nights in a row.

The complaints submitted to HCLU's legal assistance service suggest that the rights of patients, as stated in the healthcare act in force since 1998, are still not fully guaranteed in Hungary. While an important article of the act provides for the maintenance of contact, affirming a child's right to have a parent with them during a hospital stay, there is still no uniform practice followed by all healthcare facilities.

In fact, we do not have a clear picture about how this provision is realized in practice. Therefore, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union has submitted a public data request to 64 hospitals with a children's ward.

As part of the campaign, HCLU listens to healthcare employees—what they think of their current situation and what they need in order to be able to ensure the nationwide administration of good practices already in place at some institutions—and compile, on this basis, a list of recommendations to be sent to decision makers.

HCLU is committed to having every healthcare institution dealing with children guarantee the rights enshrined in the 1998 healthcare act by 2016. The organization also wants to see institutions arrange for parents to be with their children at night as well.

As part of the "I have a child with me" campaign, short videos were made to demonstrate methods of best practice, and doctors and hospital wards that are already known for their friendly care of children were also highlighted.

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