Award on Semmelweis Day to Dr. Ervin P. Finta, Chairman of the IBSSA Medical Department

On the occasion of Semmelweis Day, dr. Sándor Pintér, Minister of the Interior of Hungary bestowed the László Batthyány-Strattmann Prize upon Dr. Ervin Pál Finta – Medical Director of the South Buda Centrum Hospital, Szent Imre University Teaching Hospital, Chief Medical Officer, in recognition of his outstanding professional activities for the improvement of health care and the development of health protection.

On behalf of the leadership and members of IBSSA, we sincerely congratulate Dr. Ervin Finta on his prestigious award. We are also pleased and proud that the Chairman of the IBSSA Medical Department was given such high recognition by dr. Sándor Pintér, Interior Minister, who also oversees the Hungarian health sector. The award was presented by Mr. Bence Rétvári, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Ministry of Interior to Dr. Finta, at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Interior in Budapest on the 3rd July 2023. 

Brief History of Semmelweis Day: 
Semmelweis Day, 1st July, is a holiday for healthcare professionals in Hungary as this day we celebrate the birth of the Hungarian physician, obstetrician Dr. Ignác Semmelweis (1818-1865), who played a major role in defeating childbed fever. Dr. Semmelweis, the greatest figure in the history of Hungarian medical science is revered by posterity as the Saviour of Mothers. The name of Ignác Semmelweis is a message and connected to the Hippocratic requirements of the medical profession, careful healing and the development of science. During his short life, he passionately researched and found the cause of puerperal fever (childbed fever), that time it was a major clinical and public health problem with very high maternal mortality. He developed its pathogenesis, and for the first time he succeeded to prevent it by using hand sanitizing in the hospitals, thereby achieving a milestone result in the fight against sepsis. The world owes much to Dr. Semmelweis, who realized the importance and promoted the practice of hand sanitization in health care and enforced a hand-washing policy for physicians. He can be also considered the Father of Hand Hygiene. Clinical hand washing, since then, has prevented hundreds of millions of deaths of humankind. In the present times too, his idea of hand hygiene played a central role in COVID-19 pandemic infection control. 

In 2013, some documents of his scientific discoveries, published in print between 1847 and 1861, were declared part of the World Heritage by UNESCO. His birthplace, located at the lower part of the Buda Castle, in Apród Street, houses today the Semmelweis Museum of Medical History and he is buried in the museum’s garden. Founded in 1769 by Holy Roman Empress and Queen of Hungary Maria Theresa, the Medical University of Budapest bears the name of its former teacher, Dr Ignác Semmelweis since 1969.


 10 July 2023