Despite 12 percent pay rise, many skilled healthcare workers see no change in their salary

December 5, 2017, Public Domain,
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Capt. David Murphy

Despite the recent 12 percent universal wage rise in the public healthcare sector, skilled healthcare workers’ wages remained unchanged, reports.

The anomaly is due to the odd manner in which their salaries are calculated. Initially, when the guaranteed minimum wage was adopted many skilled healthcare workers saw a huge rise in their pay as they were adjusted to the minimum wage of skilled workers of other fields. However, much of the wage increase took the form of a payment supplement that bridged the gap between the low salaries of skilled healthcare workers and the guaranteed monthly minimum wage of HUF 161,000 (USD 600) in other sectors.

Sleight of hand

Although the 12 percent increase applied to skilled healthcare workers as well, their salary did not reach the guaranteed minimum wage. However as the base wage of skilled healthcare workers got closer to the guaranteed minimum wage, the government simply reduced the payment supplement, thus the total renumeration of skilled healthcare workers remained the same.

Despite 12 percent pay rise, many skilled healthcare workers see no change in their salary
Medical orderly salary before (L) and after (R) the 12 percent pay rise | Source:

According to a medical orderly, the pay rise was only good for the government in that from now on it can communicate that it has settled the payment issue of the healthcare system. The orderly told of a colleague who has been working in the public healthcare system for 40 years and now finally received a HUF 7,000 (USD 26.40) raise. However, the orderly said, those who “only” have 20 years of employment relationship see no change in their paycheck.

The orderly also told that another colleague had left the healthcare system to work at an international DIY chain store. There, the orderly said, the ex-colleague receives a substantially higher salary than what is provided in the healthcare system even with various supplements and allowances. Earlier the Budapest Beacon reported that vast numbers of skilled healthcare workers – especially nurses – have left the sector for better paid and less stressful jobs in the commercial sector.

In the meantime, the government has announced an eight percent raise for next year in the public healthcare sector. However, this will still leave many skilled healthcare workers with an unchanged salary as their base salary would still not reach the guaranteed minimum wage.