Commenting on the pay rise for physicians voted for in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Orbán said the question arose ‘When if not now?’ The epidemic will last for another seven to eight months, and as long as there is no vaccine, there is no “let-up,” meaning that there will be an enormous burden on physicians, he pointed out.
He observed that Hungarian physicians are among the best in the world and so there will always be some “drain effect”. At the same time, in his view, in addition to a fair salary, the atmosphere prevailing in hospitals and the possibility of fair professional advancement, too, play a part in whether a physician “stays or leaves”.
Regarding the budgetary effect of the pay rise, he said minimum double the amount paid from the budget so far will be paid to physicians in the future. “We’re talking about a sum in the magnitude of HUF 100 billion, or more like HUF 200 billion,” he indicated.
He stressed that the pay scale and the new regulations relating to gratuities were the proposals of the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors “word for word, number for number”.
Regarding the fact that the Chamber nonetheless expressed criticism in connection with the new legislation, among others in connection with the rules relating to deployment and part-time jobs, the Prime Minister said there is an epidemic on, deployment is a matter of life and death, if health care workers must go they must go “because if somebody doesn’t or we can’t find someone else to replace him or her, someone will die because they won’t receive the care they need”. He added, at the same time, that deployment cannot be a matter of daily routine, people can’t just be sent from one place to another at a moment’s notice. “Hospitals must be managed well, there must be thorough planning, and staff should only be deployed if there is trouble”.
In answer to a question relating to the possible elimination of gratuities, he said we must give it a try, stressing in this regard that this is what the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors asked for, this is why they decided to support it.
The Chamber is right, he said, that there are more than ten issues in the adopted legislation which will require further regulation in decrees. “We haven’t got rid of all the problems, we haven’t answered all the questions, and there are quite a few questions we can’t answer without the Chamber of Doctors, meaning that we will need them in the future as well,” he explained, observing that in the case of moral issues the Chamber will have to set the relevant standards and make sure that they are observed.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that in connection with the coronavirus epidemic members of the public should not expect restrictions concerning their daily lives because in the national consultation people decided that the country must remain up and running. In the spring we managed to fight against the epidemic well, the unity we demonstrated gave the people and the government self-confidence, and “if we combine forces, we will succeed again without having to bring the country to a halt,” he said.
Regarding the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Court which found the conditions Parliament tied to the exercise of the activities of foreign higher education institutions in Hungary incompatible with EU law, Mr Orbán said the judgments of the European Court – regardless of their quality – are always duly implemented in Hungary. This will be the case also with this latest decision, and it will not pose much difficulty because there are a number of possible legal solutions.
If someone wants to file a lawsuit against Hungary as a test case, they should go ahead, “we’re game for anything,” he said in response to the fact that George Soros called upon the EU to start a test case against Hungary. “George Soros is the kind of patriot from whom it comes as no surprise that he attacks his own country abroad,” the Prime Minister said.
He also said he regards the attacks against Hungary as the attacks of the European Left. Only those countries are attacked always, he continued, where the Left are not in power, and they are doing so in order to install left-wing governments in power also in these countries sooner or later. The Prime Minister referred to this as “internationalist assistance” – the same as when Soviet troops were directed to Hungary to defend the communists.
Today the situation is the same: the Hungarian Left are weak, the people are more against them than with them, “they themselves are against the people” and at times like this, in order to help the Left to government “they deploy international troops, they provide internationalist assistance,” he argued, stating that “they want to help the Hungarian Left into power from Brussels”.
Regarding the Hungarian opposition, the Prime Minister said “they’re all ground up and stuffed into the sausage from the far right all the way to the communists, they’re all there inside the skin, and I can’t call this by any other name – given the sponsor who is behind this whole thing, who is none other than George Soros – than ‘Soros sausage’”.
Concerning Vice President of the European Commission Vera Jourová’s criticisms about Hungary and the Hungarian people, Mr Orbán said “this woman from over there in Czechia sees the Hungarians as […] numbskulls who are not in a position to make independent decisions”. This is such an insult that at times like this we must say ‘hold your horses,’ this is no longer politics, it goes deeper, so it is best to stop, he added.
The Prime Minister described Vera Jourová as “George Soros’s foot soldier” in the European Commission, saying that she “eats out of the palm of his hand”. Vera Jourová represents not the Czech Republic, not the Czech people, not the European people, not even the European Commission, but George Soros, he stated.
Regarding the fact that Mayor of Budapest Gergely Karácsony suggested that the EU should finance left-led municipalities in Hungary directly, the Prime Minister drew attention to the circumstance that also today there are substantial amounts of funds in the EU budget which are not distributed by the Member States, but are available directly for programmes. Meaning that also to date Hungarian left-wing municipalities have had such opportunities, but “they haven’t done well,” he added, observing that municipalities themselves are better-off if the Hungarian State enforces the interests of the Hungarian people, meaning that the government is better-equipped to enforce even the interests of people living in settlements led by opposition municipalities and is able to raise more funds for them, too.
In the context of the credit part of the EU recovery fund planned to be set up due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic, he said Hungary said yes to the package because there are European countries, in particular in the South, which would collapse without financial aid, and this would also affect Hungary. “This is why we decided that – while from a Hungarian viewpoint, in the strict sense, it’s neither here nor here, this whole thing is doubtful, if we follow the European logic and take solidarity into consideration – it is worth taking this risk together with the others,” he said.