It is unbelievable that headcount restrictions that are currently in effect in the public sphere concern Hungarian resident doctors’ applications as well. According to the Ministry, restrictions are only technicalities, but the trade union are still concerned, as writes.

From dozens of applications, only a selected few can start the resident doctors’ training in the desired hospital this year. As it turns out, residents-to-be are employed only indirectly by the hospital: their contracts link them to the public sphere, the National Health Care Service Center in fact. The Hungarian health care system is in a horrible state today: lethal infections in the hospitals, millions taken away from renovations, huge debts.

The headcount restrictions could not come at a worse timing: both applicants and hospitals are in despair due to the great shortage of doctors and residents throughout the whole country.

But how come there are so few places for residents’ training?

The main reason for the limitation is the general tendency to restrain the number of workers in the public sphere. As a public sphere institution directly employs residents-to-be, the restraints also automatically apply to them. However, the 360 young doctors who finished in Budapest this year are legitimately confused – formerly they received information that the restrictions will not apply to them, which now turned out to be untrue.

Although hospitals can by-pass the involvement of the public sphere in the employment and can indeed directly employ young residents, this would come with huge costs for hospitals.

The problem itself is two-fold: besides the numerical limitations, the government policy aims at levelling differences between bigger cities – to where most of the residents apply -,  and smaller cities in the countryside -where only a few would like to go to.

honvéd kórház

Hungarian young resident doctors can apply to a supplementary scholarship, namely the Markusovszky-scholarship but only if two conditions are met by the candidates: receivers of the fund cannot accept „gratuity money”, bribes from patients, and they have to work in Hungary even after the duration of the program. This way, the Hungarian government seems to bind young doctors to their home country.

However, a foreign institution or hospital would be more than willing to pay this amount of money if young graduates decide to move elsewhere and emigrate, doctors say.

Nevertheless, more and more young doctors are eager to stay in Hungary – in this case, the technical restrictions seem even more absurd. According to Tamás Dénes, president of the Residents and Medical Specialists Union, the restraints are not to apply to resident doctors’ training applicants officially, and the problems are promised to be solved within a few days.


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