7.2 Administration and governance
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Main government actors
Currently, the Department of Health Policy, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Public Education Strategy in the Ministry of Interior (Belügyminisztérium), are responsible for the health and well-being of young people in Hungary. The Department of Health Policy coordinates the primary health care system, including youth health. The Department of Public Health, among its tasks
- participates in the tasks on comprehensive health promotion in kindergartens, in schools, in youth policy and in family policy,
- operates the Hungarian Focal Point for Tobacco Control (Dohányzás Fókuszpont),
- develops programmes and coordinates activities on smoking prevention among young people, collects best practices and make programme proposals to education institutions and participates in the implementation and impact assessments.
The Department of Public Education Strategy coordinates and participates in the implementation of the programmes on
- 'the five PE hours per week',
- sport programmes targeted at public education,
- health promotion,
- health education,
- drug prevention and
- mental health (Belügyminisztérium, Szervezeti és Működési Szabályzat).
In addition, the most important areas concerning youth are handled by special departments in the Ministry of Interior:
- the Department of Social and Child Welfare Services,
- the Department of Child Protection and Guardianship,
- the Department of Chance for Children.
The Department of Youth Affairs in the Ministry for Culture and Innovation (Kulturális és Innovációs Minisztérium) is responsible for the overall youth policy and the Department of Sports Professionals and Reinforcement Education in the Ministry of Defence (Honvédelmi Minisztérium) is responsible for the development of the young generation in the sport field.
Main public and non-public actors
The Ministry's background institutions and other institutions also deal with young people:
- National Centre for Public Health (Nemzeti Népegészségügyi Központ),
- National School, University and Leisure Sport Federation (Nemzeti Diák-, Hallgatói és Szabadidősport Szövetség),
- National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (Országos Gyógyszerészeti és Élelmezés-egészségügyi Intézet),
- Hungarian School Sport Federation (Magyar Diáksport Szövetség),
- National Koranyi Institute of Pulmonology (Országos Korányi Pulmonológiai Intézet),
- Hungarian Directorate-General for Social Affairs and Child Protection (Szociális és Gyermekvédelmi Főigazgatóság),
- Hungarian Association on Addictions (Magyar Addiktológiai Társaság).
Act CLIV of 1997 on Health
Act CLIV of 1997 on Health (1997. évi CLIV. törvény az egészségügyről) is guided by the belief that
'the interest of the individual in his health and well-being must take priority, and that the achievements of the development of medical science should be utilised to ensure positive benefit for present and future generations'.
The Act also builds on the idea that
'being aware that health as a prerequisite for the individual's quality of life and self-realisation has a major impact on family, work and, as a result, on the entire nation.'
The Preamble also states that
'the system of means and resources available to health services cannot serve the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health unless completed by a social welfare system, the protection of the natural and human-made environment, together with the social and economic environment, as well as by health promoting public policies and practices'.
The purpose of the Act on Health is to
- promote the improvement of the health of individuals,
- help ensure that all members of society have equal access to health services,
- create conditions for all patients to preserve their human dignity and identity,
- establish the general professional requirements and guarantees of the quality of health services,
- ensure the protection of health workers and health care institutions,
- enable the interests of the individual and the community to be reconciled, current public health objectives to be achieved, the necessary resources to be available and optimally used, and health sciences to develop.
The Health Promotion Offices (Egészségfejlesztési Irodák) were opened in 2014 and operate under the governance of the National Centre for Public Health (Nemzeti Népegészségügyi Központ). Their responsibilities include providing individual lifestyle counselling and organising community programmes to help people lead healthy lifestyles, increase health awareness and promote physical activity to stay healthy. The offices have to harmonise the work of local organisations and programmes dealing with prevention and health development.
Two thirds of these offices were opened in the disadvantaged regions of Hungary. In 2021, 113 offices were in operation. They are usually linked to the local hospitals or work independently.
Various civil organisations and church institutions deal with issues that affect youth, such as
- skills development,
- representation of the interests of children and young people,
- protection of children and young people,
- health maintenance,
- prevention of diseases,
- medical treatment and health rehabilitation,
- drug prevention,
- conservation of nature and the environment.
Financial support and coordination of the civil sector is primarily provided by the National Cooperation Fund (Nemzeti Együttműködés Alap). (See sub-chapter 1.7 Funding Youth Policy.)