Outraged healthcare workers: 1 forint raise?
Many articles have been addressing the Hungarian healthcare system and why it is less rosy than the other national healthcare systems in Europe. In fact, the national healthcare system is so aggravating that many people choose to spend more and turn to private healthcare. There is a massive labour shortage, doctors and nurses are seriously underpaid. The government announced that healthcare professionals’ wages would be raised. This is what happened consequently.
The government raised the wages of healthcare workers by 12% last November, reports RTL.hu.
The original proposal was that they would raise wages by an additional 8% in November 2018. However, the government decided to raise wages much earlier this year.
This January, wages have been raised again by 8%.
The Ministry of Human Capacities told RTL that 70,000 healthcare professionals’ wages were raised this January.
According to the ministry, by now, there is no healthcare worker in Hungary whose wage has not been raised.
According to the statistics, healthcare professionals got an average raise of HUF 8,000 – HUF 10,000.
What needs to be emphasised here is that those healthcare workers who earn less than the minimum wage (which is HUF 180,500) did actually not get any raise this January. The Ministry of Human Capacities, however, told RTL that, because the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) was also raised in January, there is no one working in healthcare whose wage did not increase.
Let’s see what these percentages mean in reality, and by how much healthcare professionals earn more than before.
Many healthcare workers shared their huge raise on social media, stating that their monthly income was raised by HUF 1 (EUR 0.0032). Some were luckier than others, their wage was increased by HUF 350 (EUR 1.12).
Some people reported that their wage was not raised at all. People even posted their notice of the bank transactions as proof that they indeed received a 1 forint raise or none at all. Calculations of Független Egészségügyi Szakszervezet (FESZ) [Independent Trade Union of Healthcare] correspond to what the outraged healthcare workers state on social media:
every 10th healthcare worker’s wage was raised by only a few hundred forints or by nothing at all.
FESZ together with the Hungarian Ambulance Workers’ Federation formed a strike committee and started to prepare for a healthcare strike. A demonstration is also being organised for 24 March. If the trade unions cannot reach an agreement with the government, there will be a strike.