Lászlófi Viola

Lászlófi, Viola (PhD candidate) will work on the forms of work inside the healthcare services, focusing on medical doctors and the issue of informal payment or under-the-table payment (hálapénz) (Ádám 1986, Kornai 2000) and sick pay fraud (táppénzcsalás).

She will explore the roles of medical professionals in Hungarian socialist society and will examine similarities and dissimilarities with practices in medical work and institutions in the West at the time (Windling 2014). She will study these questions from the perspectives of five major themes: the links between publicly funded and private forms of healthcare (Antal 2018, Losonczi 1989), the ethical concerns of socialist medical professions (Éthique médicale 2005), the organization of the workplace as a site of encounter between doctors and patients, and the management of information concerning patients. Her work will address how welfare services and the forms of work associated with this sector were organized in the context of the second economy (Knudsen 23 2015). She will explore how obtaining such services represented a special form of consumption in the Hungarian socialist model and how the extra income generated in this sector shaped patterns of consumption. Furthermore, her work will address the moral questions of different forms of payment (private care or informal payment, or what is known in Hungary as parasolvency) and the grey zone of medical services. She will particularly study which groups and what forms of these types of work were considered right or wrong, and she will assess the extent to which these practices were motivated by the general limits and deficiencies of state socialist healthcare or what other explanations there might be for the presence and the increasing problematization of these practices.

Keywords: informal payment, doctor-patient relationship, free healthcare, history of medicine, state-socialism