Last year, a total of 28,600 employees left the Hungarian social and healthcare system, almost 17,000 from the latter alone. According to the chairman of the independent healthcare trade union, the shortage of staff is jeopardizing patient care.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute.
A total of 197,400 people were employed in the Hungarian healthcare sector in the last quarter of 2020, and only 180,700 in the fourth quarter of 2021, meaning that a total of 16,700 people left the sector in a single year.
As we have also reported, all physicians and professionals in the state’s healthcare system were required to sign new contracts as a transition to a new healthcare employee status. The deadline for this was March 1, 2021, and while the new contracts significantly increased physicians’ base salaries, on-call fees and other wage supplements were unclear in many places, even though they make up a significant portion of physicians’ salaries. For this reason, many did not sign the new contracts. According to official figures, this includes around 5,500 employees.
Adrianna Soós, president of the Independent Healthcare Union, was asked by RTL News about the absentee workforce and said that “patients will suffer the most” from this negative trend.
This is obvious and unfortunately reflected in the mortality figures. It is not a question of workers not working as hard and not doing their best, but simply that they are physically unable to be there all the time and everywhere.”
Just in the third wave of the coronavirus epidemic, thousands of people left the sector, while even the Prime Minister warned that everyone’s work is needed. And although there is a ban on layoffs in this very sector, this number was achieved by earlier layoffs and employees reaching retirement age.
RTL has reached out to the government about the healthcare workforce shortage but has yet to receive a response.
Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Balogh/MTI