Arrears of hospitals amounted to HUF34.5bn at end-August and increased by 14.2% m/m, the news portal Napi cited data by the Treasury. Hospital arrears amounted to HUF13.75bn at end-2016. Arrears stagnated in the previous couple of months, which has been linked to objective factors like lower number of hospitalizations during the summer months. The renewed increase in August, however, reveals underlying lack of financing, Napi commented. It pointed out that the healthcare ministry had indicated that the acceptable level of arrears is not higher than HUF20bn and that the government had instructed hospital managers to keep arrears down even at the expense of less healthcare treatments. Hospital arrears have nevertheless accumulated again after the government cleared most of them last year, in a second wave of debt consolidation in the sector. Napi pointed out that the share of arrears overdue by more than 60 days was growing, considering it an indication that hospitals were counting on another debt rescue by the state.