Budapest (MTI) – A total 96,000 doctors and nurses have received a pay rise since 2010, and all employees in Hungarian health care will have had their pay doubled by the end of the decade, Human Resources Minister Zoltán Balog told public Kossuth Radio on Sunday.
Balog said the majority of doctors’ incomes comprises overtime pay and other kinds of benefits. The government is determined that their fixed salary should reflect “the work they do” and is comparable to doctors’ salaries in other European countries.
Addressing complaints that the salaries of junior doctors participating in a special government programme with stipends of 150,000 forints (EUR 490) a month had reverted to 107,000 forints (EUR 350) after completing the scheme, Balog said that the problem only affected an estimated 100 specialists and no one would have a lower salary than before the programme was instated.
Júlia Ábrahám, the opposition LMP party’s health-care spokeswoman, told MTI on Sunday that awarding doctors a pay rise had been an “imperative to prevent the system from collapsing”.
Health professionals are still seeking employment abroad and there is a lack of some 280 GPs, she said, adding that the debt portfolio of Hungary’s hospitals was growing by 3-4 billion forints (EUR 9.8-13m) each month.
“If the government started doing its job”, people’s health would improve tangibly, they would not be required to pay tips in hospitals and the number of patients with nosocomial infections would drop, the expert said. “Problems in health care cannot be resolved through deceitful propaganda or hate-mongering posters,” Ábrahám added.