The number of Hungarian doctors applying for permits to work abroad between 2011 and 2016 fell from an annual 800 to below 400, Bence Rétvári, state secretary at the human resources ministry, told public television on Monday.
Compared to 2010, the number of doctors working in Hungary grew by 10 percent, to just below 38,000, Rétvári said. The number of those graduating from medical university has jumped by 40 percent, he added.
With a 27 percent wage hike in 2012-2013, doctors’ salaries were raised by altogether 207,000 forints (EUR 662) in 2016-2017, he said.
Grants for resident doctors have also been raised, Rétvári noted, adding that the raises had helped slow emigration.
Speaking on public radio, Rétvári said that a lack of doctors is a European phenomenon which impacts central and eastern Europe in particular. Hungary employs a complex package of government measures to mitigate this tendency, he said.
In fact, most of them go to Great-Britain, Germany and Switzerland. As a result, there is a considerable shortage in many sectors of Hungarian health care. In contrast, it is hard to find a hospital in Germany for instance without at least one Hungarian doctor or nurse.