National Institute for Health Development

Koos Tamas
József Solymosy
Director General
+36 1 42 88 254
+36 1 42 88 216
+36 1 42 88 273

National Institute for Health Development (OEFI)
Nagyvárad tér 2
HU-1096 Budapest



The National Institute for Health Development (Országos Egészségfejlesztési Intézet – OEFI) is a government based agency planning, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating public health and health promotion at national level. OEFI has been established in 1958, having this way five decades of experience in health promotion and disease prevention.

The institute has three key functions:

  • As national centre of excellence, the agency is responsible for research and development, case-studies in the field of health development.
  • In the framework of the Hungarian National Long Term Public Health Strategy the institute is managing, coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the program’s implementation.
  • In close cooperation with WHO, IUHPE, ENWHP and EurohealtNet and other relevant agencies the institute is stimulating and coordinating Hungarian international activities for health development.

The Institute performs tasks of technical development, methodology, in-service training, research of health development, with special emphasis on tackling inequalities in health. The institute carries out data collecting and data processing activities, manages tendering operations.

It cooperates with institutions of higher education, scientific associations and professional organizations that are interested in health promotion and disease prevention.

It participates in activities that strive to support health policy and the public health system.

The mission of OEFI is to increase healthy life years to the average life expectancy at birth and to contribute to the improvement of the health status of the population. Our values are health, as general well-being, humanity, tolerance and partnership.

For the successful realization of its mission, it supports and coordinates the work of institutions in the same field, issues technical guidelines for education, and quality assurance. Furthermore it conducts background studies and impact assessments. It contributes to the data management and monitoring system of health services and public health.

One of the most challenging tasks of OEFI is to stimulate and support the planning, coordinating and evaluating intersectorial action for health.

The priority areas for action of OEFI in 2011 are the following:


Health in Country

Health of the Hungarian population

Hungary has a land area of 93,000 square kilometres and a population of 9,986,000 in 2011 (Hungarian Central Statistical Office – CSO).  The country consists of 7 statistical regions, 19 territorial divisions or counties. There are three administrative levels: the central government and two tiers of local governments (counties and settlements).

Demographic indicators in Hungary reveal that the population is beginning to decline. While there were 90 350 births in 2010, the populations decreased by 40 100 (CSO).

Thanks to improvements in living conditions and progress in the medical field, the average life expectancy of Hungarians is increasing: today men can on average expect a life span of 70.05 years while women can expect a life-span of 77.89 years (CSO, 2009).

However, Hungary has still a low life expectancy of 74,45 years (HFA, 2009) compared to the EU average of 79,59 years (HFA, 2009). Cancer and cardiovascular diseases are mainly responsible for the notable gap between EU average and Hungary.

The main causes of early death are as follows:

  • Tumor related: male: 31% ; female: 42,2 %
  • Cardiovascular: male: 31,9 % ; female: 26,4%
  • Digestive system male: 13,8% ; female: 11,9%
  • External causes: male: 12,6% ; female: 7%
  • Other: male: 10,7%, female: 12,5%.

Health inequalities

Mortality data of working age men already showed health inequities in Hungary in the second half of the 20th century. “A number of studies demonstrated the persistence of health inequities in Hungary since the second half of the eighties. Characteristics of these inequities are high mortality in the north-eastern and south-western parts of the country; differentials between and within rural areas and districts of the capital; survival disadvantage of those with low education compared to those with high education; and increasing differentials in the past three decades.” (Karolina Kósa: Public Health Impacts of Social Inequalities in Hungary. In: Népegészségügy/Public Health. 2009/4)

Health system

The current Hungarian health system is currently under transition. The basis of the system is the funding of the social health insurance and services that are delivered predominantly by local government-owned public providers. Managing of health affairs is the duty of the Ministry of National Resources, together with social and employment affairs, sport and culture.

A new Health Care strategy called “Semmelweis Plan” is under public consultation.

The present Hungarian Public Health Strategy (2003) has an uncertain sustainability due to its marginalization in health policy, limited government level political commitment and declining public funding.

The public health system was reorganized in 2010-2011. Besides the new ministry responsible for all human resources, government offices at county level were formed.  These offices are local public administration bodies, consisting of administrative departments of different sectors, including the Public Health Administrative Departments.  The government offices are legally and financially supervised by the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, but the Public Health Administrative Departments are under the professional leadership of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer as well as the National Institute for Health Development.

Projects & Programmes

OEFI participates in the following international projects:


The ENGENDER partnership will review at European and regional levels, examples of good practice, policies and interventions in the health and other sectors that have successful, positive impacts in promoting gender equity in health. The project will create an Inventory (documentary database) of good practice, which will contribute to more effective and equitable health policies for women and men. The overall objective of the ENGENDER project is to contribute to the information and knowledge base on effective and equitable policies, programmes and institutional arrangements in Europe designed to promote gender equity in health and reduce inequalities.

Contact person: Rita Simich (

PH Work

The aim of the project is to develop guidelines for the workplace (employers) on how people with chronic illness can stay at work/return to work. The guidelines will be built using expert knowledge derived from the healthcare sector (e.g. specialists in specific illnesses), knowledge from the world of work (structures, settings, etc.), and health promoting strategies. The guidelines will focus on management strategies, interventions and good practices in general and targeted on specific chronic illnesses offering a range of practical solutions for employers taking into account the size and the sector of the company.

Contact person: Eszter Lőrik (

Crossing Bridges

The ‘Crossing Bridges’ project aims to build on work undertaken in the EC co-funded 'Closing the Gap' (2004-2007) and 'DETERMINE' (2007-2010) projects, and will complement the 'Joint Action on Health Inequalities' (2011-2014), to advance the implementation of HiAP approaches in EU Member States. It will do this by developing evidence led methodologies and building capacities, as part of the overall mission to improve health equity within and between states.

Contact person: Ágnes Taller (

Joint Action in Health Inequalities

The project will develop a common understanding of a Health in All Policies approach, and its application at EU, MS and sub-national level. The General Objectives of the joint action are to help to reduce health inequalities by: developing knowledge for action on health inequalities; supporting the engagement of Member States, regions and other stakeholders in action to tackle socio-economic and geographic health inequalities; sharing learning between Member States and other actors; supporting the development of effective action to tackle socio-economic health inequalities at the European policy level.

Contact person: Ágnes Taller (


News & Publications

Presentations of conferences, methodological booklets and leaflets are available here, only in Hungarian language.

Useful Links

Ministry of National Resources (responsible for Health and Social Affairs, Education, Sport, Culture)

Office of the Chief Medical Officer (only in Hungarian)

National Institute of Environmental Health

"Frédéric Joliot-Curie" National Research Institute for Radiobiology and Radiohygiene

National Institute of Chemical Safety

National Center for Epidemiology

National Institute for Food and Nutrition Science

National Directorate of Medicinal Baths (only in Hungarian)

National Centre for Healthcare Audit and Inspection (only in Hungarian)

National Institute for Primary Health Care (only in Hungarian)

National Institute for Child Health (only in Hungarian)

Hungarian National Health Insurance Fund

National Institute for Strategic Health Research

Hungarian Focal Point for Tobacco Control

Faculty of Public Health of the University of Debrecen



EuroHealthNet illustrates the strong links which exist between health, poverty and social exclusion
European Quality of Life Survey 2012
See video