“The new Government will be working to further increase the moral and financial standing of ambulance crews, the efficiency of ambulance services, and realise the further improvement of working conditions within this field”, the Ministry of Human Capacities’ Parliamentary State Secretary Bence Rétvári said in a statement to Hungarian news agency MTI on Thursday, on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the National Ambulance Service (NAS).

“Since 2010, 30 new ambulance stations have been built, and half of the existing ambulance stations have been refurbished. 780 ambulances have been replaced, as a result of which the average age of ambulances has decreased to 5.9 years, from 7.1 in 2010”, the State Secretary highlighted.

“The budget of the National Ambulance Service has also increased significantly, from 22.8 billion forints to 38.2 billion forints since 2010”, Mr. Rétvári added.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu

He also said that the salaries of ambulance workers will have increased by an average of 67 percent between 2016 and 2018, a greater increase than any other profession, and the largest wage increase programme of its kind in the history of the ambulance service. “We have brought the 8 percent increase scheduled for the autumn of this year forward to January, in addition to which ambulance workers received a further wage increase of 10 percent at the beginning of the year”, he added.

“Ambulance workers can also expect another 8 percent increase next year”, Mr. Rétvári told the press.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu

“The average salary of paramedics was 314 thousand forints in 2010, but has since risen to 640 thousand forints, nurses’ wages were 173 thousand forints eight years ago, but now stand at 340 thousand forints, while ambulance officers are now earning 460 thousand forints compared to 242 thousand in 2010”, he pointed out.

“We would not only like to increase the financial standing of ambulance workers, but also plan to further improve working conditions, and with it patient care morale”, he said.

DownloadPhoto: Gergely Botár / kormany.hu

“In addition to wage increases, the Government is also financing the acquisition of uniforms and the professional training of ambulance staff”, Mr. Rétvári added. 1.1 billion forints will be spent on new workwear, which ambulance workers will receive before the end of this summer.

“Anyone who has ever waited for an ambulance knows full well the huge help they provide and how important their activities are”, the State Secretary said.

“Ambulance workers are nameless heroes, who arrive at the scene of an accident, perform their task, and leave the scene; their identities remain unknown, and this is one of the reasons why it is important to commemorate them and ensure that they are at the focus of attention on National Ambulance Day”, Mr. Rétvári said.

(Ministry of Human Capacities/MTI)