Hungarian Lawmakers Address Health-Care Sector Troubles

  • 13 May 2015 9:00 AM
Hungarian Lawmakers Address Health-Care Sector Troubles
Lawmakers addressed burning issues in health-care financing in parliament, ahead of a demonstration planned by workers in the sector this afternoon. István Ikotity, a lawmaker for the opposition LMP party, said Hungary’s health-care sector was overloaded and faced shortages in staff, equipment and medication supplies. He estimated that there is a shortage of some 6,000 nurses and their wages are very low in international comparison.

The wage hike flagged by the government last week is “very little,” he said. Citing statistics from the Central Statistical Office (KSH), Lajos Kórozs, a lawmaker of the Socialist party, said nurses earned a monthly average of 97,000 forints (EUR 316) before tax, which stays below 160,000 forints even after 40 years of service.

György László Lukács (Jobbik) said the government was deaf to the problems of the sector, insisting there was a shortage of 10,000 nurses. Bence Rétvári, state secretary at the human resources ministry, said while wages had lagged in 2006-2010, with the Socialist government having cut them by 8% in 2008, the current government is focusing on raising them.

He said next year’s budget included 15 billion forints for pay rises for some 43,000 hospital nurses and 17,000 doctors.

Qualified nurses earn 41,000 forints more a month than a few years ago, he insisted, adding that the number of doctors seeking to practice abroad dropped from 1,200 four years ago to 948. Spending on the health-care sector increased by 6% in 2015 and an additional 60 billion forints are spent this year on reducing hospital debt, he said.

Earlier in the day health-care state secretary Gábor Zombor told public news channel M1 that next year’s health-care budget would rise by 10 billion forints, the same as this year.

Several trade unions of health-care workers were to stage a demonstration in central Budapest in the afternoon.

Source - Visit Hungary Matters to sign-up for MTI’s twice-daily newsletter.

MTI photo: Szigetváry Zsolt

  • How does this content make you feel?