Budapest (MTI) – Health employees gathered in central Budapest on Tuesday to demand higher salaries and the introduction of career models in the sector.
The demonstration, attended by an estimated 5,000 nurses and other staff members, was organised by the Hungarian Chamber of Health-care Workers (MESZK).
Chamber head Zoltan Balog said the message of the protest was that “decision makers should not only hear but understand” the demands of health employees, whose “patience is growing thin”.
The protesters marched through central Budapest to the human resources ministry to hand over a petition to the government.
At the same time, doctors and nurses held another protest in front of Parliament to demand better working conditions and higher pay.
Kamill Selmeczi, head of the Federation of Primary Care Physicians, told participants that “the government must reach into central coffers and give health workers the money they deserve”.
Janos Belteczki, head of the Federation of Hungarian Doctors, said that the efforts of physicians were “worthless” without the work of nurses, OR assistants and auxiliary staff.
Another speaker called Hungary’s nurses “21st century slaves chained to the sickbed with a passion for their work, without reward”. He added that health care should be “liveable, sustainable, and requiring no tips”.
Participants of the demo, of a similar size to the other protest, handed over a petition to an official of parliament.