labour shortage nurse

Every fifth healthcare worker thinks that they will not accept their new contract. Instead, they plan to leave the Hungarian healthcare system to work somewhere else or abroad. That is because of a new law accepted by the parliament in October concerning the service of healthcare professionals.

According to, Zoltán Komáromi, an opposition politician (Democratic Coalition) specialised in healthcare, mentioned this troubling data at an online press conference on Friday. He said this based on press sources and added that there are COVID-19 departments where 80 pc of the nurses would like to leave because of their new contract. Mr Komáromi said that if they left in the middle of the third wave, that would result in the quick collapse of the Hungarian healthcare system.

“The government should recognise at least today, on the Day of Hungarian Nurses (February 19 – the editor), that

they can no longer exploit healthcare professionals because that would result in unforeseen consequences,”

the general practitioner said yesterday. He added that the Hungarian healthcare employees work for humiliating wages, in a worsening work environment, and within an unpredictable legal framework. He called the situation unbearable.

As we reported before, all hospitals struggle with the lack of nurses and other healthcare professionals. That is mostly because they receive very low salaries.

A nurse working at the COVID-19 wing of St. John’s Hospital Budapest told last May how shocked she was when she received her salary back then. For her work in April (which means over 200 working hours), she expected a much higher amount, given that healthcare workers were promised 180% of their usual salary, but this is far from what they received in May. Many hospital workers were transferred at St. John’s Hospital Budapest to the COVID-19 wing in April, who were all promised 180% of their usual salary, including bonuses and overtime.

On average, healthcare wages range between net EUR 312 – EUR 430.

Most shocked of all were the workers who were forced into quarantine for two weeks. They received the smallest amount on their accounts. In March, when an infected patient was brought into the department, many nurses and doctors had to stay in quarantine for two weeks. As this was not their own fault, they were promised to receive full pay for the two weeks spent in quarantine. They did receive full pay in their March salary received in April. However, it turns out that they were eligible for only 60% of their pay when on sick leave, so the hospital pulled the difference form their April salary, which they received in May.


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