Budapest, April 28 (MTI) – The government will allocate 85 billion forints (EUR 273.3m) towards wage hikes in the health-care sector in next year’s budget, the state secretary for health care said on Thursday.

Zoltán Ónodi-Szűcs told commercial television TV2 that the government will begin raising wages in the sector as early as this year, given that there are enough reserves for this in the 2016 budget.

The government currently spends 360 billion to 370 billion forints on paying health-care workers and aims to increase both base salaries and wage supplements in the near future, he said.

The state secretary told Thursday’s Magyar Hírlap that the government had yet to reach an agreement with the sector on exactly when wages would be raised, adding that the hikes would only begin if a deal was reached.

The ideal scenario would be to come to an agreement by May 10, Ónodi-Szűcs said, as that is the week when parliament begins debating the 2017 budget.

He said one of the points of discussion at the last round of strike talks with health-care unions was whether the wage hikes should be universal or merit-based.


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