Parliament approved on Tuesday a major wage hike for doctors, to be carried in several steps starting next year.
The proposal submitted by head of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás and Human Resources Minister Miklós Kásler was approved unanimously, by 165 votes in favour.
The law also contains provisions criminalising gratuities to doctors.
The legislation was fast-tracked through parliament days after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he had accepted a proposal by the Hungarian Medical Chamber.
The law sets the monthly pay for doctors in practice for a period of up to two years at 481,486 forints (EUR 1,335) from the start of next year. At the top of the pay scale, doctors in practice for 41 years or more will earn 1,666,040 forints a month.
From January 1, 2022, it raises the pay scale to a range of 619,053 forints to 2,142,051 forints. The range will increase a third time, from January 1, 2023, to 687,837 forints to 2,380,057 forints.
The law also criminalises gratuities offered as a bribe and sets a limit on the value of non-cash gifts from patients to doctors at 5 percent of the monthly minimum wage.
Prior to the vote, the Hungarian Medical Chamber criticized the bill, arguing that it differed in many respects from what was previously agreed upon.
Featured photo illustration by Károly Árvai/kormany.hu