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Interior Minister flags further wage hikes in health care next March

After an 11 percent pay rise for doctors in January, the wages of health-care professionals will be further increased in a second phase of wage hikes next March, the interior minister told parliament's welfare committee at his annual hearing on Tuesday.

The average base salary of doctors has been increased to 2,197,000 forints (EUR 5,780) and of health-care professionals to 595,000 forints, which is 37 percent of the average base salary of doctors, Sandor Pinter, whose portfolio includes health care, told the body.

He highlighted improvements in Hungarian health care since the ministry took over the coordination of the sector’s tasks, adding that “the government will set up one of Europe’s best health-care systems”.

In terms of hospital infections, Pinter noted that Hungary was ranked as standing “at the 7th best place in Europe”, adding that he would only be satisfied if Hungary ranked “as best”.

The minister dismissed claims that the number of health-care workers was gradually dropping.

He called the elimination and the possibility of penalisation of gratuity payments a major achievement, insisting that “gratuity is an immoral basis on which no fair system can be built”.

Asked by opposition committee MPs about the ventilators purchased during the coronavirus pandemic and still held unused in warehouses, Pinter said it had been impossible to say in advance how many of them would be needed. Hungary’s position, he said, was that what had happened in hospitals in Italy should not occur in Hungary, adding that the ventilators would be used to replace old ones in Hungary’s health-care institutions.

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