One-off or occasional healthcare provided by a specialist physician upon referral from the physician regularly attending and caring for a patient, or on the self-referral of the patient, or continuous specialist care when the patient has a chronic condition not necessitating inpatient care.
General outpatient specialized care shall be provided without endangering the health of the patient, in a manner enabling accessibility and availability through regular public transportation (in the case of Hungarian nationals in the vicinity of their domicile; while in the case of EU patients as per specific regulations.) Different forms of outpatient specialized care shall be provided per administrative units (generally in cities) for a population, the proportion of which is defined by the frequency of certain diseases.
Facilities providing outpatient specialized care shall perform their activities autonomously, or in cooperation with other facilities, based on an operator’s license. In general, it is a prerequisite of using outpatient specialized care that physicians entitled to give referrals provide such a referral. Referring physicians – based on their own professional indications and the regulations on referral issued by the healthcare administration – may initiate the examination and treatment of the patient at the healthcare facility operating at a level of specialized care justified by the health of the patient.
With the exception of emergencies, those insured may use specialized care that can be used without a referral at a healthcare provider of their own choice, that shall have a valid financing contract in terms of the given outpatient specialized care. However, should the healthcare provider not be bound by a territorial responsibility to provide healthcare for the patient, it shall then be entitled to deny care in certain cases. If those insured intend to use outpatient specialized care dependent upon referral at a healthcare provider that was not designated in the referral at issue, then they shall be considered as not having a referral. In case those referred use certain care in a repeated fashion, the referral shall be valid until the time specified by the referring physician in the referral, but at least for 90 days; in other cases the referral shall be valid for 90 days following issuance.