Budapest, June 5 (MTI) – The Hungarian Resident Association has urged that legal issues around tips to healthcare staff from patients should be resolved, and asked the authorities not to raise charges in such cases until the current “legal uncertainty” is eliminated.

The association has also asked the chief prosecutor for a position on whether an “unasked for but subsequently accepted tip” could be considered as bribery, head of the association Tamas Denes said in a statement on Thursday.

Denes noted that under Hungary’s new penal code doctors accepting tips from patients could be prosecuted even if they do not ask for the money.

In response, Chief Prosecutor Peter Polt said he had initiated an amendment to the relevant law to clarify existing passages on “passive economic bribery”, which could be interpreted in different ways. The prosecution deems the current passage contradictory to legal certainty.

The association urges that all parties affected by the issue of illegal tips – politicians, healtcare providers, and patients – should jointly work out a “tip-free, viable and sustainable” health model and set a dedline from which any form of tipping doctors or nurses is prohibited, Denes said. He insisted that healthcare should be based on solidarity and salaries in health should be raised, while a transparent system of pay-for extra services could be negotiated.



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