Hungary's parliament has approved a major wage hike for doctors, to be carried out in several stages starting next year.
The legislation submitted by head of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyás, and Human Resources Minister Miklós Kásler was approved unanimously, by 165 votes in favor. The law, which also contains provisions criminalizing gratuities to doctors, was fast-tracked through parliament days after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he had accepted a proposal by the Chamber of Physicians.
The law sets the monthly pay for doctors in practice for a period of up to two years at HUF 481,486 (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 HUF 1,666,040 a month. From January 1, 2022, the legislation raises the pay scale to a range of HUF 619,053 to 2,142,051. The range will increase a third time, from January 1, 2023, to HUF 687,837 to HUF 2,380,057.
The law also criminalizes 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.