Five unions representing Hungary’s health-care workers have formed an alliance to advocate their interests against a new law affecting their sector, the unions said in a joint statement on Thursday.
The Alliance for Health said the new legislation affected not only health-care workers but Hungarian society as a whole.
On Oct. 6, lawmakers unanimously approved the government-sponsored law which allows for a major wage hike for doctors and contains provisions criminalising gratuities. The legislation was fast-tracked through parliament days after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he had accepted a proposal by the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors (MOK).
The new alliance said that the law “has generated a serious crisis of confidence in the health-care sector”, and criticised its drafting without preliminary consultation involving the sectors’ representatives.
The unions called for talks with the government on drafting a new “more transparent” bill which should be based on broad preliminary public consultations.
The five unions include the Independent Health Trade Union, the Trade Union of Hungarian Doctors, the Trade Union of Hungarian Ambulance Workers and the confederations of Medical Universities’ and the Health-care Workers’ Trade Unions.