Total hospital arrears amounted to HUF33.4bn at end-April and rose by 16.8% m/m, the news portal Napi reported citing data from the Treasury. In nominal terms, the m/m increase in the hospital arrears was HUF4.8bn, slightly higher than the HUF4.6bn average monthly growth since the beginning of the year. Liabilities overdue for more than 30 days stood at HUF14bn and liabilities overdue for more than two months — HU 11bn. Hospital arrears have consistently increased and the central government has been forced to settle them at the end of each year in the past few years. The process of arrear accumulation has not been stopped though despite some government measures in this direction, in our view. Hospitals have attributed this year’s increase in arrears to the significant hike in wages, Napi said. It estimated that arrears could reach HUF70bn by the end of the year, which we think would mean a similar burden on the central government’s budget.