Encouraged by the Czech example, Hungarian young doctors are to give an ultimatum to the government unless measures are announced by April to improve their living conditions, daily Népszabadság reported yesterday.

Head of the Hungarian residents‘ association Magor Papp told the paper that medical graduates will have to decide in April whether to continue with specialist training in Hungary or leave to work abroad. To keep home, a monthly net wage of HUF 200,000 for career-starting doctors would be enough (instead of the current HUF 80,000), Magor said, adding that the wage increase could take place progressively but they need a short term government guarantee.

Some 4,000 Czech doctors gave a three-month ultimatum last December and threatened to resign this March unless the Czech government increases wages. Eventually, the Czech government agreed to restructure funding in healthcare and announced a gradual wage increase plan that guarantees doctors 150% of the average wage from 2013 and three times the average wage in the future. Translating it to the Hungarian conditions, this would mean a net HUF 750,000 monthly salary for the young doctors, which is far above Papp’s claims.

Still, more than 1,000 career-starting doctors left Hungary last year, representing a five-fold increase compared to earlier years. Papp told the paper that half of the young doctors did not enter the specialist training system last year, a significant proportion showing that the tendency of their emigration continues.