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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).

Hungary's New Pay Scale for Doctors a Step Closer to Western Healthcare Salaries
Hungary's New Pay Scale for Doctors a Step Closer to Western Healthcare Salaries

Following the announcement of the historic wage hike of Hungarian doctors promised by the Orbán government, we tried to find out how the new pay scale compares to Western European countries in which most Hungarian medical professionals leave to work. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced a few weeks ago that the government had accepted the […]Continue reading

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.

New Law Granting Historic Pay Raise to Doctors Includes Strict and Severe Conditions
New Law Granting Historic Pay Raise to Doctors Includes Strict and Severe Conditions

The wage increase of doctors that was announced on Saturday and already accepted in Parliament on Tuesday caused serious surprise in Hungary. While this is undoubtedly a significant increase of the low payments in the healthcare sector, it is also crystal clear that the government is imposing very serious conditions for doctors to get it. […]Continue reading

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.

Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Balogh/MTI