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Staff

Management

Miklós Szócska
director
director@emk.sote.hu
Tamás Palicz
deputy director
palicz@emk.sote.hu
Judit Lám
deputy director
associate professor
lam@emk.sote.hu
Miklós Szócska

Dr. Miklós Szócska graduated at the Semmelweis University (SU) of Medicine in 1989. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1998), and a Ph.D. from the Semmelweis University in the field of change management (2003).

His interest in the management of health services and organisations emerged in the late ‘80s-when he served as a student president elected from the opposition- before the Hungarian regime change. After his graduation at the SU he and his colleagues initiated the creation of the Health Services Management Training Centre (HSMTC) which was officially established in 1995. Between 1995 and 2000 he was serving as the deputy director and in 2000 he was appointed to be the director of the Centre.

Between 2010-2014 Dr. Szócska served a full electoral term as the Minister of State for Health of the Hungarian Government. During his term he developed an evidence based consultative health policy. Besides managing to keep the sustainability of the Hungarian health services during economic crisis he also introduced a broad range of significant health reforms among others: the implementation of a radical public health regulatory framework with success and popular support. This included the full ban of smoking in public places and workplaces, the safety limitation of trans fat content of food, and the introduction of public health tax on food and beverages with added sugar and salt. In his four years he also utilized central capacity planning for the rationalisation and regionalisation of the health care provision system as well as designed new efficient patient pathways.

Since the end of his term in office he serves again as the Director of HSMTC. His areas of professional interest cover a range of topics – development of organisations, management of change and leadership. He and his colleagues had extensive research in health human resources migration and HR strategy for health. Most recently he focuses on network analysis, big data solutions and data mining. The latest development of a case-based crisis communication training is to be launched early next year.
Due to his experience in shaping e-Health strategy on European and national level, he became responsible for the developments of the Institute of Digital Health Sciences at Semmelweis University.

In 2016 Dr. Szócska was nominated by the Hungarian Government for the Director-General position of the WHO.

Dr. Szócska and his wife who is also a physician, bring up three children.

Miklós Szócska’s publications

Tamás Palicz
Tamás returned back to his alma mater as the deputy director of strategy after 15 years of his graduation at the Health Services Training Centre’s MSc Program. Currently he is responsible for the implementation of the running projects at the Institute, as well as is the leader of the Project and Dissemination Team.
Tamás graduated as a medical doctor at the University of Debrecen. In 2001 he received an executive manager MSc at Semmelweis University and he also gained specialization in public administration in 2013.

He embraced his first leadership experience in 2003 as the deputy director of the Strategic and Operational Development Department at the Semmelweis University. From 2005 he served as the medical director of the Kútvölgyi Clinical Unit (part of Semmelweis University) being responsible for 4 billion HUF budget and 700 employees. Between 2010-2013 he directed the Managing Authority of Human Resources Programmes of National Development Agency with the responsibility of implementing the Social Renewal Operational Programme (budget: 1145 billion HUF) and the Social Infrastructure Operational Programme (budget: 560 billion HUF). Between 2013 and 2015 he served as the deputy-director of the National Institute of Health Development and led the implementation of the TÁMOP-612A-14/1-A special project to complete the introduction of school health promotion.
As the father of five children Tamás actively contributes to the family life of the organization.

Judit Lám
Judit joined the Health Services Management Training Centre in 2009. As a member of the Healthcare Quality Management & Patient Safety group she contributed to the development of the Hungarian accreditation system of health care providers. Within the framework of the project a training course for the application of standards, audit process as well as a recommendation for a unified survey system was developed. She was engaged in the development of the “NEVES” Patient Safety Program – an anonymous adverse event reporting and learning system – and participated in many related international projects (e.g. PATH, PaSQ, EuroHOPE). She continuously educates health care managers, residents and postgraduate students in the field of quality of health care and patient safety. Since 2016 she has also been responsible for the operational management duties of the HSMTC.

Judit graduated at the Semmelweis University – Faculty of Pharmacy in 1995. After her graduation she served as an assistant lecturer at the Pharmaceutical Institute of the Semmelweis University. In 2001 she defended her doctorate thesis titled „Examination of the quality of life and cost of treatment of epilepsy patients in Hungary”. Later on she continued her studies and in 2002 graduated in Health Care Management (MSc).

Judit Lám’s publications

Éva Belicza
associate professor
belicza@emk.sote.hu
Péter Gaál
dean
associate professor
gaal@emk.sote.hu
Eszter Sinkó
deputy dean
researcher
sinko@emk.sote.hu
Éva Belicza
Éva Belicza is one of the leading experts in the field of national health services’ quality-management and improvement in Hungary. She graduated as a mathematician at the Kossuth Lajos University, Debrecen as well as gained her PhD in epidemiology researches at the Medical University of Debrecen. From 1995 she led the Health Quality Improvement Consultation Centre (EMIKK – Egészségügyi Minőségfejlesztési Konzultációs Központ) co-founded with the late Professor Ferenc Boján. She defended her habilitation thesis titled “Possibilities of evaluating the quality of health service providers and services” in 2014 at the Faculty of Economics of the University of West Hungary.

Ever since its establishment she is a core member of the Health Services Management Training Centre, where she became a full-time partner in 1999. Éva is responsible for the development and maintenance of the quality management programs and courses. The work group led by her participated in the development of the Hungarian accreditation system of health care providers. Within the framework of the project a training course for the application of standards an overall audit process as well as a recommendation for a unified survey system was developed. The patient safety improvements are supported by the anonymous adverse event reporting and learning system – NEVES – and the bimonthly Patient Safety Forum series.

She is keen in the development and interpretation of indicators -evaluating health services and health service providers. In close relation with this topic she was an external expert for 8 years at the National Health Insurance Fund of Hungary (OEP – Országos Egészségbiztosítási Pénztár). She participated in various European research programs for example PaSQ, PATH and EuroHOPE. She is also the delegated representative of the Patient Safety and Quality in Care Working Group of the European Union. Currently she participates in Bridge and EuroGTP II projects and she is the head of the Quality and Patient Safety Manager Specialization Training programme of HSMTC.

Éva Belicza’s publications

Péter Gaál
Peter is an associate professor of health policy at the Health Services Management Training Centre, Faculty of Health and Public Administration, Semmelweis University, Budapest. Since June 2010 he is the dean of the Faculty of Health and Public Administration.

Dr. Gaál graduated as a medical doctor in 1993 at Semmelweis Medical University, and he also holds an M.Sc. degree in health services management, and a Ph.D. in health policy, both from the University of London. With one of his publications on informal payment for health care, he won the joint Karolinska award of the European Health Management Association and the Karolinska Medical Management Centre in 2005, which is awarded annually for the best publication prepared from a PhD thesis. He was the director of the Centre’s own masters program in health services management between 1996 and 2000, during which period the program was established and gained widespread recognition in Hungary, and was the director of HSMTC between 2010-2014. He is the course organizer of the Health Policy module in the frame of the masters program, and has been working on several national and international education, research and consultancy projects since 1995. His areas of expertise include various health policy topics, in particular health financing, health care reforms and system management development.

Péter Gaál’s publications

Eszter Sinkó
Eszter is being considered as one of the most iconic lecturer of the Health Services Management Training Centre. At the beginning she was a core member of the preparation team working on the establishment of the Institute, and in 1995 officially joined the Centre. Since 2010 she has been serving as the deputy dean of the Faculty of Health and Public Services.

Eszter graduated in 1979 at the University of Economics (Budapest) – in the Theoretic Economic Policy Faculty. After her graduation she worked as a researcher at the Medical Training Institute (Orvostovábbképző Intézet). In the first wave of health reforms (1988-1992) she also worked on the change of the health system at the Ministry of Welfare Reform Secretariat. Between 1993-1998 Eszter was an elected member of the National Health Insurance Fund. Before the official establishment of the Health Services Management Training Centre she served as the deputy director of the Hungarian representative of Sedgwick Noble Lowndes, a multinational company dealing with governmental consultancy on health and pension issues.
In 2000 she was also a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Between 2011 and 2015 she was the president of the Hungarian Health Care Professional Association, Division of Management and Health Economics.

Eszter is the lecturer of Analysis of Health Systems course in our Health Manager MSc program. Additionally, she is the leader of the short programs and one of the most active adviser and trainer of the Institute.

Eszter Sinkó’s publications

Staff members

Csaba Bálity
assistant lecturer
bality@emk.sote.hu
László Bencze
project coordinator
bencze@emk.sote.hu
Attila Borbás
IT developer
borbas@emk.sote.hu
László Bencze
László has got a background in law, holds an LLM and a postgraduate degree in EU law. Started with environmental law, later worked in the health and social field as a lawyer, consultant and diplomat. He joined HSMTC in 2015 as an expert in international relations and projects.
Likes travelling also in his free time.

Csaba Bálity
Csaba Bálity has graduated as a cultural manager on public relations faculty in 2005, in Szombathely. Four years later he earned a master degree in religious studies. He has begun his doctoral studies at the University of Debrecen, than has gained a pre-degree certificate at the Semmelweis University’s Doctoral School of Mental Health, in the program of ’Sociological and mental health approaches to resources for individuals and communities’. From 2012 to 2014 he attended a self awareness psychodrama training at the Semmelweis University Institute of Mental Health. As a researcher initially conducted researches mainly on the field of sociology of religion. Later increasingly turned to the family sociolgy. His doctoral research was performed with the financial support of the National Association of Large Families. Currently working on his PhD thesis that aims to map the challenges, burdens and resources family members face in large families. His field of interest includes the effects of supportive family relationships on health, particularly mental health outcomes, intergenerational processes within the family, and the factors influencing fertility decisions.
Csaba has joined the Health Services Management Training Centre at the end of 2014. Currently under the direction of Dr. Péter Gaál, he is responsible for the issues concerning the Health Systems and Policy Monitor that observes and supports European health policy-making.

Attila Borbás
Attila joined to the team of EMK as IT after graduating from Semmelweis University Faculty of Public Health Service as a health care organizer in 2012. In 2014 he acquired Administrator exams. His responsibilities include supervision and development of databases, applications and IT systems.

He spends his sparetime playing sports.

Edit Eke
advisor (human resources for health)
eke@emk.sote.hu
Tamás Evetovits
senior lecturer
evetovits@emk.sote.hu
Beáta Farkas
finance director
farkas@emk.sote.hu
Edit Eke
Edit obtained her diploma as a general medical doctor at the Medical University of Debrecen in 1991. She had practised in her home town, Debrecen until May 2003. She specialised in internal medicine and nephrology. She got her diploma on health management as result of a postgraduate two year-long training course (next to work) at the Semmelweis University in 1996. This course, executed in frame of a TEMPUS Program, was the straight antecedent of the official establishment of the Health Services Management Training Centre in 1995.

Edit mainly participates in the work of the Human Resources for Health (HRH) team at HSMTC. Next to our own research study on Health Professionals Mobility and its relating projects She also worked in international HRH Projects, as the Health PROMeTHEUS project, Bilateral Cooperation Project between WHO and HSMTC, the European Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting. Edit represented our institutions also in other European and international projects: The Effectiveness of Health Impact Assessment: HIA European Union project, AIDS Strategic Action Plan: ASAP international project.
She reads lectures in HRH and HRM topics in the graduate and postgraduate training programs of HSMTC and contributes to our international training courses.

Edit’s main professional field of interest is the practise-oriented approach, teaching and use of human resource management in health care, and specifically the issues and research of health professionals’ mobility.

Edit Eke’s publications

Tamás Evetovits
Since the foundation of the institute Tamás has been actively contributing to the development and operation of the HSMTC. As the director of international programs he was responsible for the regional implementation of the World Bank Institute’s Flagship Program on Health Sector Reform and Sustainable Financing. Over the years, this executive training program attracted more than 1200 healthcare leaders and decision makers from Europe and Central Asia.

Although currently he is serving as the Head of the WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening, Tamás is still an active member of the faculty and continues his teaching in the MSc program in the field of health financing and health system development.

Tamás graduated at the University of Pécs as a Medical Doctor in 2003, where he was a leader of the Student Council. He also holds two MSc degrees in the field of Health System Management from Semmelweis University and the University of London. Additionally, he spent a year in the United States as a Fulbright Scholar and completed research at the University of York. He further broadened his international experience as a health policy expert of the WHO.

Beáta Farkas
under construction

Beáta Ferenczi
expert
ferenczi.beata@emk.sote.hu
Gergely Fügedi
senior lecturer
fugedi@emk.sote.hu
Edmond Girasek
senior lecturer
girasek@emk.sote.hu
Beáta Ferenczi
Beáta completed her tertiary education as economist at Budapest Business School – College of International Management and Business in 2003, and then she graduated at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics on the field of environmental management in 2006. After finishing the college she started to work at the Central Statistical Office as referent for international / EU related issues. From 2008 she was responsible for the successful implementation of the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperation Program first at the National Development Agency, and with its cessation at the Széchenyi Program Office.

She joined to the program management team of the Health Services Management Training Centre in January 2015. Her aim is to develop a unified process control within the institute. Currently she coordinates the HELIUM project to be completed in the framework of the INTERREG Europe Programme and the MAP4E project within the ERASMUS+.
In her free time she likes doing sport, hiking, as well as nature photographing.

Gergely Fügedi
Gergely graduated as a medical doctor at Semmelweis University in 2012. He continued his studies as a PhD candidate at Semmelweis at the 1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. And also graduated as an MSc in Health Care Managment.
Gergely joined the quality management workgroup of Health Services Management Training Centre (HSMTC) in early 2013, participating in the development of the Hungarian healthcare accreditation system under supervision of associate professor Dr. Eva Belicza. As a member of the EU funded project TAMOP-6.2.5/A professional staff, he was coordinator of the first-round testing of the newly developed healthcare operational standards at thirteen different clinics of Semmelweis University.
Besides his work in the field of accreditation, Gergely actively participates in patient safety projects and education programs: as contributor to the European Union’s Joint Action on Patient Safety and Quality of Care (PaSQ project), he worked in exchange mechanisms for sharing good practices between healthcare institutes. He also regularly gives lectures to medical residents and health workers in patient safety.

Gergely Fügedi’s publications

Edmond Girasek
Edmond Girasek graduated at the Eötvös Lóránt University (ELTE) as sociologist in 2006. He interested in quantitative methods and the topic of health workforce already in his student years. His thesis was written about carreer choice of medical doctors. During his university years he was one of the fouders and operation of the ELTE Special College for Social Sciences and. As a demostrator taught quantitative methods for first and second years sociology students and the member of Special College. His Ph.D. thesis was defended in 2013 in the Semmelweis University.

Edmond joined to the HSMTC team in January 2007 as a junior fellow. He is working in the team since 2009 as an assistant lecturer and since 2013 as assistant professor. Edmond took part in several national and international research, training and advisory projects e.g.: the Health Professional Mobility in the EU Study lead by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. In the course of this project he spent one year internship in Brussels. Recently he is leader expert in the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting project WP4 lead by the HSMTC. This work package responsible for the data and terminology. Edmond is also the professional leader of the Semmelweis Univserity Graduated Tracking System and working hard on perparation projects on eHealth topic.
Edmond is teaching management for healthcare management BSc students and medical residents.

Edmond Girasek’s publications

Csenge Győri
HR assistant
gyori@emk.sote.hu
Györgyi Kalcsó
assistant to the director
kalcso@emk.sote.hu
Márton Kis
health innovation expert
kis.marton@emk.sote.hu
under construction

Györgyi Kalcsó
Györgyi joined our team in January 2015. Currently her main responsibility is to support the director ‘s work, and also to assure the smooth functioning of the Director’s Secretariat and the front desk service.
Györgyi previously filled similar positions at other institutions.
She likes to be with her family, skiing and reading.

Márton Kis
Márton joined the team of HSMTC in the fall of 2014 as financial economist. He is participating in finding of, application for and execution of different national and international projects. As the member of the Dissemination Knowledge Centre he is coordinating a number of Hungarian and international projects (JAseHN, EIT Health Innostars, HTA Joint Action, Chrodis+ JA, IMI2 CSA, Helium, Erasmus+, Ecoquip), and active member of the eHealth team of HSMTC.

Márton graduated in 1996 as financial economist, and in the last 25 years he has been working in all ranks of a bank, from a clerk till management positions. Later he enriched his management skills working on the field of telecommunication, IT, media, trade, sport management and healthcare, in the management of different multinational and startup companies, in Hungary and abroad as well. His speciality is innovation management, which is backed now by a recently acquired MBA degree.

In his free time Márton is the Chairman of the Hungarian Cricket Association, vice-president of the middle eastern section of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and volunteer supporter of the Magic Lamp foundation.

Rita Kóródi
MSc program coordinator
korodi@emk.sote.hu
Eszter Kovács
assistant professor
sociologist
kovacs.eszter@emk.sote.hu
Szilvia Márfyné Kerekes
international program coordinator
kerekes@emk.sote.hu
Rita Kóródi
Rita Kóródi graduated at the Department of Library Science of Kaposvár University as a librarian. She is currently doing andragogical (MA) studies.
Rita joined to the team in 2010. She works as a program coordinator of the Executive Health Services Management postgraduate program and the Master of Science in Health Services Management program.
Her hobbies are orienteering and hiking.

Eszter Kovács
Eszter studied sociology at University of Szeged. She obtained her MSc degree in 2007. She started working as a lecturer in sociology of medicine at the Institute of Behavioral Sciences and as a statistician at the unit of Psychiatry of Children and Youth, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged. During her university studies she volunteered as a youth worker, youth leader and coach at the College of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences of Szeged, at the Southern Great Plains Region Social Research Association, and the Southern Great Plains Region Health Promotion Association. She obtained her PhD degree in Health Sciences at the Institute of Behavioral Sciences, Semmelweis University in 2012. Eszter joined HSMTC in 2009 and started her participation in international research projects as an expert. She was involved in FP7 Health PROMeTHEUS and European Cross-border Care Collaborations, and the Joint Action for Health Workforce Planning in the EU. Nowadays she coordinates the work of the research team and knowledge centre on human resources for health and leads the activities of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Human Resources for Health Development.

Her areas of expertise are human resources and related health policy issues, namely, workforce planning, health professionals’ mobility, cross-border health care, patients’ rights and health/medical tourism.

She is accredited as PhD supervisor in the topic of „Borderless world” – Cross-border health care – the impact of mobility on health systems.

Eszter Kovács’s publications

Szilvia Márfyné Kerekes
Szilvia Márfyné Kerekes has been working at the Centre from 1995. She graduated from the College for Foreign Trade, Budapest in 1994 and from Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration in 1998.

Szilvia took an active part in the establishment process of the university unit (HSMTC), and contributed to the Centre’s university-level and international recognition. She has worked as financial manager of international development and training programs till 2002. After returning from maternity leave, she became a senior coordinator of international training and research projects.

Gergő Merész
assistant lecturer
meresz@emk.sote.hu
Cecília Surján
assistant lecturer
surjan@emk.sote.hu
Erika Takács
senior lecturer
takacs@emk.sote.hu
Gergő Merész
Gergő Merész owns a master’s degree in health policy with a specialization in health economics, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He is mainly focused on quantitative data analysis, preparing systematic literature reviews, health economic evaluation, and data extraction from international health-related databases.

Specialties: Health economics, statistical programming (R), literature reviews.

Gergő Merész’s publications

Cecília Surján
Cecília has joined the team of the Health Services Management Training Centre in 2010 following her internship in her bachelor studies as Healthcare Administrator at the Faculty of Health and Public Services at Semmelweis University. Already an employee of the Institute, she graduated from Semmelweis University as Health Services Manager, MSc in 2013, and she is currently a PhD student of this university.

She is part of the health quality management and patient safety team of the Institute, and she participates in several national and international projects concerning patient safety and quality of care. During the development of the BELLA project (the national health care services accreditation program – TÁMOP 6.2.5./A) she participated in the preparation of the project with the adaptation of various literature, and later she worked with the content and IT development of the Hungarian National Reporting and Learning System (NEVES). While the maintenance and professional assistance regarding the NEVES program is still one of her duties, she also participates in various international projects, e.g. Bridge, EuroGTP II and EUnetHTA. Aside from these projects she has teaching and tutoring responsibilities. She teaches in the Health Manager course for medical, dental and pharmacology students, in the quality management course for Healthcare Administrator BSc students, and she tutors students of the Health Services Management course. Earlier, in the Joint Action Patient Safety and Quality of Care (PaSQ) project she was the national contact point whose role is to facilitate the communication between the participant institutes and the project management and to organise the experience exchange between all participants of the project.

Cecília Surján’s publications

Erika Takács
Erika Takács was graduated in 2002 at the Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration (now Corvinus University of Budapest). Her major faculty was logistics and operations management and her minor was public organization management. Between 2002 and 2006 she worked for the National Health Insurance Fund Administration (NHIFA), where she participated in the development of the NHIFA’s quality indicator system.

Erika joined our Centre in 2006. She is a member of the quality management team and works as an expert for Hungarian and international research and development projects. Between 2006 and 2010 she was the Hungarian country-coordinator of PATH (Performance Assessment Tool for quality improvement in Hospitals) project launched by WHO. She worked as an expert in the EU-funded project developing the Hungarian BELLA (BetegELLátók Akkreditációja, Accreditation of Health Care Organizations) program and led the Centre’s research project studying the effect of this accreditation program. She is also responsible for the course on management control in health care in the BSc and the MSc program of the Centre. In the focus of her professional interest there is the quality and performance management and evaluation of health care organizations. She continued her studies at the Corvinus University of Budapest, the title of her PhD dissertation was “Factors that Influence the Internal Effects of External Hospital Evaluation”.

Erika Takács’s publications

Adrienn Tálosi
project assistant
talosi@emk.sote.hu
Adrienn Tálosi
Adrienn Talosi has been member of EMK’s team since March 2015. She was working as project assistant at a TÁMOP 6.2.5 B and JAseHN project. Earlier Adrienn worked as assistant at other companies.
Hobbies: making leather goods, riding bicyle, running..

Minden munkatárs

a légy a levesedben
Telefonszám
John McClane
a légy a levesedben
Telefonszám
John McClane
John McClane (alakító szereplője Bruce Willis) a Die Hard akciófilm-sorozat összes részének főhőse, férfi New York-i rendőr. A sorozat (de főleg az első rész) megteremtett egy új filmbéli hőstípust, a vonakodó, rendezetlen hátterű, a történetbe belekeveredő, de a kihívást végül elfogadó, és utolsó leheletéig harcoló kisembert, melynek kiinduló- és későbbi egyik viszonyítási pontja John McClane.

Az eredeti szereplőt az első film alapjául szolgáló, Nothing Lasts Forever című, 1979-ben megjelent regényben Joe Lelandnek hívták. A karakter létrejöttekor az akkori elvárások szerint nem volt a tipikus hős: iszákos, láncdohányos, káromkodik, lusta és szétszórt, valamint a családja sincs rendben: a történet elején feleségétől és két gyermekétől külön él. (A regénybeli hős nem a feleségét, hanem a lányát menti meg.) A problémát az egyébként jó zsarunak tartott McClane és felesége (alakítja: Bonnie Bedelia) között éppen az utóbbi sikeres karrierje okozza: míg John a szabályok betartására fütyülő, sikerorientált, de többször emiatt az állását is kockáztató rendőr, felesége, Holly leánykori nevét viselve, Holly Gennero néven dolgozik vezető beosztásban, a cég második embereként egy japán nagyvállalatnál Los Angelesben. Mint később kiderül, felesége valóban vezetői képességekkel rendelkezik, John pedig nehezen fogad el mástól vezetést.

John bizonyos mértékig a klasszikus amerikai hőst akarja képviselni, vagy legalábbis példaképként lebeg előtte néhány klasszikus hős. Első ellenfele, a Nakatomi toronyházban felesége főnökét, Mr. Takagit és másokat is kivégző, magát terroristának kiadó, de valójában fejlett technológiát alkalmazó, világszerte keresett bűnöző, Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), aki magát Johnnál magasabbrendűnek és kulturáltabbnak tartja, meg is jegyzi róla: „csak egy amerikai, aki azt hiszi magáról, hogy John Wayne”, mire John azzal válaszol, hogy Roy Rogers-et jobban kedvelte. A film szembeállítja az európai származású, részben jól öltözött, különböző nyelveken beszélő, több országból származó bandatagokat egyrészt Johnnal, másrészt később a történetbe keveredő afroamerikai Al Powell őrmesterrel (Reginald VelJohnson), akik a két lábon álló, hősiességre is hajlamos egyszerű amerikaiakat testesítik meg.

John sajátos taktikai és stratégiai lépésekkel keresztülhúzza a jól felkészült és a rendőrség teljes taktikai arzenálját ismerő rablóbanda, elsősorban Gruber számítását, és egyesével elintézi a banda tagjait, ideiglenesen meghiúsítja a felső szint felrobbantását, majd megmenti a túszként tartott alkalmazottak jelentős részét. Már ebben a részben kialakul a jellegzetes és később a nézettségi csúcsokat biztosító szövegstílusa: a történet előrehaladása során a kimért, hűvös, magát gentlemannek tartó Gruber és John közötti rádión, később szemtől szemben lejátszódó verbális csata is folyik. John rövid, de hatásos mondatai megjegyezhetőek, sok közülük szállóigévé vált. A harcban végül legyőzi Grubert, megmenti a feleségét, miközben alig kap kívülről támogatást. A zárójelenetben felesége ismét Holly McClane-ként mutatkozik be, ami a házasságuk helyreállását sejteti.

A második részben ismét véletlenül keveredik az események közepébe, de itt már komoly szerepe van abban, hogy a környezetét rádöbbentse a történések valódi hátterére: eleinte véletleneknek tűnő egybeesések közötti összefüggést deríti ki szokásos jó zsaruszimatával, azonban sok értékes idő eltelik és áldozat hal meg, míg sikerül a reptér felelős vezetőit a megfelelő lépések meghozatalára bírni. Itt is sokszor egyedüli hős: nyaktörő akcióival a reptéren sorban végzi ki az ezredes embereit, míg végül a repülőjüket is az “egekbe repíti”, de itt már együttműködő partnereket is talál, akik nélkül nem érhette volna el célját.

A harmadik részben „kiválasztottként” kerül szembe a másik Gruber testvérrel, Simonnal (Jeremy Irons) , de a számításba itt is hiba csúszik, mert egy a környezetében lévő fiatalokat a bűncselekményekről lebeszélő, tanulásra, a fehérekkel való versenyre buzdító afroamerikai Zeusz (Samuel L. Jackson) is a történetbe keveredik. Noha a kettejük duója a történet folyamán néha el-elválik, ettől a résztől kezdve John már nem teljesen magányos hős, mivel ebben és a későbbi részekben is végig mellette marad egy-egy mellékszereplő hős. Ez részben az időközben lassan megváltozó hollywoodi hősideálnak is köszönhető.

A negyedik részben a hekkerekkel számol le, mégpedig úgy, hogy bevallottan nem ért a technológiához, a sikerét a megfelelő partner kiválasztásának is köszönheti.

Végül Pripjatyban a oroszok lesznek az utolsó áldozatok.

A sorozat folyamatos sikerén felbuzdulva már készül a hatodik rész is.

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John McClane
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