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Interview with Dr. Zoltán Papp, director of the Maternity Private Deparment

Services of Kútvölgyi Premium have been added with further special fields. Outpatient department of Maternity Obstetrics and Gynecology Private Deparment was opened on 1st March, 2010 and then inpatient department of Premium Maternity has started its operation since 1st July, 2010. We have interviewed professor Zoltán Papp, founder and professional leader of the clinics.

The door of his room is open, sometimes colleagues look in and ask some questions, polite and smiling colleagues on the corridor who are pleased to give information for the arriving guests…. is this the general atmosphere, or have we arrived „in good time” ….?

It is absolutely general, … this is the key of the secret ….. in addition to the professional knowledge it is the most important to deal with the patients politely, readily and of course well-informed.

Paintings and glass chandelier in the waiting room of the outpatients’ department and also paintings in the consulting rooms are waiting for the persons entering. Arts can heal?

And I should like to add that pleasant, soft music is heard in the waiting rooms and the corridors. These are very important for good feeling and even if they do not heal, they release stress and greatly contribute to anxiety reduction of the patients. My real hobby is taking photos, the number of my well-organized albums is almost hundred, and I have just 96 ones. I played music and sports when I was a young doctor. I was a reserve player in DEAC NB1 volleyball team. I have played the jazz saxophone and the clarinet since when I attended the secondary school…

When did you play last time?

In 2000, because ten years earlier, when I got to the Semmelweis University Deparment of Baross street I promised my colleagues that I would play the clarinet for them if we finish there at least ten years. I kept my promise and we gave a concert with my old bandmates….

We had a big jump in time ….. returning to the years before Debrecen, how did you decide to become a doctor?

I wanted to be doctor from my early childhood, although nobody was a doctor in our family, my parents were pedagogues and one of my sisters became a teacher, too. I intentionally prepared for the University of Debrecen already in the secondary school. Fortunately I loved the subjects needed for admission and was enrolled with excellent result. Due to the effect of the lectures of professor Sándor Árvay at the university I became interested in gynecology. Later on I had worked for his clinics and I can now talk about him with good feeling.

You became the head of the Obstetrics Semmelweis University Deparment of Baross street of SOTE in 1990 in the year of the change of the regime. How do you remember these years?

I would say that I could submit my application just during the positive temporary time of regime change in a „democratic space”; I got the position and became the head of the Clinics. The old political system was already unable to intervene in the life of the University and the new system was still incapable of doing this. I got this position clearly on the basis of professional aspects and I am very proud of it. 65 years old specialists at the medical universities are at the top of their carriers and many of them can give over their experience in this age. After all the leading positions are fixed to the age limit of 65 years. This decision concerned me in person and I had to leave the Clinics of Baross street after 17 years.

However thanks to this is the foundation of the Maternity Private Clinics where we are sitting now …

It is right. I have felt and I feel myself both in mental and physical aspects ready for action and I decided to make something very new… Maternity Private Clinics was established on the basis of my professional work submitted to the application of the Kútvölgyi Clinics Block and with the contribution of the professional investors. Having gained the tender the contracts with Kútvölgyi were undersigned in autumn 2009 and the Clinics has started its operation on 1st March, 2010.

How could you sum up the essence of Premium Maternity?

First of all the establishment of the Clinics required complete and extensive reconstruction works. We have not only reconstructed the two floors of Kútvölgyi but performed also reconstruction of sanitary engineering and energetics. What you see now is an exclusive clinic at European level. However the most important thing is the change of approach, providing for the existence of the private clinics, more exactly the endeavour of model value to clear up the domestic situation around obstetrics and gynecology.

What are you thinking of exactly?

Obstetrics became one of the central questions of social public speaking because of the system of parasolvency. Cash flow in our system is transparent; it is performed as cleared up in advance. More exactly the difference from non-private service is not the fact that here the patients must pay, but the fact that the patients must pay to an account and we pay tax after this and of course also the doctors pay tax after honoraries transferred to their own accounts.

What is the opinion of the colleagues about this, who have to live in a „non-transparent system” beyond their control?

Our colleagues working here have undertaken to earn money transparently, such like in the other fields of the society, by observing the rules of the game. We are only a few today, but more and more will choose this way.

Many have raised the problem that private Deparment divert the patients from OEP service. What do you think about it?

Look, it is not true. According to my experience, when we took great efforts and development and made rooms with 4 beds from the rooms with 18 beds, the patients who use the services of Maternity Private Deparment today were not curious of the rooms with four beds, because they wanted single rooms.

Does it mean that the target group is different?

Yes, the target group is different …. a young couple visited us some days ago and they told that they have carefully attended the hospitals of OEP before delivery of the wife and they did not find one that could meet their demands. Then they came to us, voluntarily. They liked what they saw. They will deliver by us and welcome their child after birth in a family room.

Does it mean that also the father will sleep at the department?

Exactly. There is a great demand for this.

Could you please sum up what do Maternity patients get, what is not available somewhere else?

We provide special attention related to childbirth, which are never else included in the price of the „delivery packet”. Caesarean section has the same price by us as the spontaneous vaginal delivery, the neonatologue is present at each normal delivery, epidural anesthesia is performed by the professional anesthetist, and also the father in the family room is entitled to hotel services in addition to the mother and the newborn (five meals per day etc.) just to mention the most important ones. It is important that our patients will get the invoice based on our prices shown at our website. There are no hidden or post expenses. Just about our prices; - when we put our pricelist on the website the concurrency has taken them off, it means that our prices are competitive and real. Our patients are provided the highest level of professional service; they visit their selected doctor and can use hotel-level services. We also had to fight the ÁNTSZ (National Public Health Service) for our family rooms, but we succeeded and have them and it means that the father can not only be present at the delivery, but he can stay here with his family before and after delivery, too. This is comforting for everyone, for the mother, the father and also for our professionals. This is the future.

This is the future

We know that there are a lot of foreign patients coming to Premium Dental. Do you work on attracting foreign patients to Hungary, too?

We have contacted the foreign agents, but already now half of the couples are „mixed marriages”, - one of the spouses is a foreigner.

What message would you send for the Hungarian medical students of the near future? Why will it be worth of staying at home?

I am not competent to answer this question. National health service in its present form and condition does not promise much good in Hungary for a long time. However our medical education is excellent even in international comparison. If they attend our universities to acquire the fundaments of the medical profession, then they absolutely go on the right way, but the question where can they utilize… their knowledge cannot be answered now. But we must trust that things will get better and better. When we started our studies at the university 50 years before, also we could not know what would be 10 years later and we especially could not know what would be even later.


The interview was made by László Léder.
Please send your remarks and questions concerning the interview to the following e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Photos: Csilla Czimer and Maternity Private Clinics.

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