Even if we do not receive a cent from the European Union, we will still improve primary care, Péter Takács told M1 news channel on Thursday. The Secretary of State for Health of the Ministry of Interior spoke about the wage increase for doctors and nurses, as well as the restructuring of the wage scale for professional staff, reports Magyar Nemzet.
In an interview with public television, Péter Takács stressed that the autumn legislative package will broaden the competencies of general practitioners (GPs): for example, they will get back some of the prescription rights previously taken away. In addition, a tender will be launched in which practices can purchase the equipment needed for laboratory tests that can be carried out locally.
More competence-enhancing improvements are planned in the so-called European catch-up package, but they have been blocked by Brussels bureaucrats for a year and a half, he noted. Takács explained that general practitioners, pediatricians, and dentists working in primary care, as well as specialist assistants, will also benefit from the 18 percent pay increase from July.
The amount will be paid to practices not as a wage subsidy but as a discretionary allocation.
The social consultation will be completed in five to six working days, the law will be published in the Hungarian Gazette, and the National Health Insurance Fund will then be able to do the accounting, he said. The politician added that the workers in this group have different legal statuses, some are governed by the Labor Code, some are self-employed, and some work through an employment agency, so they are not subject to the sectoral promotion rules.
Takács highlighted that first of all it had to be assessed whether the current practice funding system could be used to finance the pay raise. The politician said that this could have been misunderstood by the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors, which, as he said, sometimes uses a different type of communication in public than at the negotiating table. The state secretary also underlined that
with the 18% pay raise in July, the basic salary of an average nurse who has worked for 20 years will rise from HUF 390,000 (EUR 995) to HUF 460,000 (EUR 1,173.8)- a significant increase.
The state secretary added that over the past four years, the wages of healthcare workers have increased by 72 percent, and the wage increase program will continue from March. He recalled that doctors had a historic pay increase during the COVID epidemic, when the payroll was split, and that from March the average pay increase between doctors and nurses will again be only 37 percent. Takács said that the pay scales for healthcare workers will be radically overhauled, and that they are working on this together with the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors and trade unions.
Via Magyar Nemzet, Featured photo via Facebook/Csőzik László