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Mass resignation of doctors cancelled

January 3rd, 2012

A pro-government commentator is relieved by the fact that the government at the very last moment promised significant wage rises for doctors. The doctors had threatened to quit their jobs en masse on January 1.

The imminent collapse of Hungarian health care has been averted – writes Roland Lippai in Magyar Nemzet.

More than 2,500 Hungarian trainee doctors who earn less than 90,000 Forints (290 Euros) a month threatened to quit their jobs on January 1, 2012, unless the government offers them a significant salary increase (See BudaPost, June 14). On December 29, Undersecretary of Health Miklós Szócska promised that the government would allocate 40 billion Forints to increase their salaries. The Hungarian Trainee Doctors’ Association welcomed the announcement, and put off the planned mass resignation for three months in the hope that an agreement with the government will be reached in the meantime.

Lippai contends that the run-down Hungarian health care system can hardly be fixed in a couple of months. He finds it promising, however, that the government has realised the urgency of the problem and offered help in order to avoid the complete breakdown of the service.

As for the young doctors’ unusually harsh threats, he notes that these well-qualified medical professionals are fully aware that they could easily get well-paid jobs in Western European countries. But they would prefer to work in Hungary and earn a living without accepting tips, which is rather widespread in the state-run health care system.

All in all, Lippai hopes that the three month deadline will be enough to find an agreement which would not only be beneficial for the young doctors, but also essential for the viability of the Hungarian health care system.

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