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  • 1 Faculty of Law, University of Pécs Department of Civil Procedure and Law Sociology Pécs Hungary
  • 2 Vita-Chi Egészségügyi Bt. Wesselényi u. 11, H-1077 Budapest Hungary
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The author presents mediation as an alternative dispute resolution method. Mediation is a process where the parties are ready to settle their dispute out of court, by way of negotiation and with the involvement of a neutral third party as mediator. In the mediation process the mediator shall not decide the dispute, nor examine the default or give legal advice or express his/her opinion – the mediator’s duty is to help the parties bring their positions closer and come to a settlement agreement within a short time (120 days). The author gives a summary of the applications of the Hungarian Act on Mediation in Public Health and draws conclusions from the practical experience since entry into force of the legislation and illustrates the advantages of mediation over the court procedure (which may drag on for years). The primary advantages of mediation are that both the mediators and the parties are bound by the obligation of secrecy, the procedure is cheaper than the court proceedings, and the parties can “save their faces” because in mediation the winner-winner formula asserts itself – against lawsuits where the winner-loser positions are confronted. The author also analyses the specific data and information available so far. As for the future, the legislation needs to be amended at several points. It is particularly expedient to regulate the legal relationship between the insurance companies and the health service providers because the liability insurance may not cover the damages the courts adjudicate. And so some of the service providers may go bankrupt as the difference in excess of the upper limit of coverage – it might as well be up to HUF 5 million per case – shall be paid from own budget, to the charge of the upkeep costs. It is also required to review and amend the regulations on expert activities, just as it is inevitable to make data supply compulsory – otherwise it will be impossible to monitor the number of mediation procedures in health. At present, data are supplied on an optional basis and they cannot be supported.

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