Minimum Wage Increases and Impacts the Provisions of the Drug Economy and the Healthcare Acts
The Secretary of State for Employment Policy announced that the Hungarian government and the competent trade unions have reached an agreement on the mandatory amount of the minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage for 2021.
As of February 1, 2021, the gross minimum wage will increase to HUF 167,400 (EUR 4651), and the gross guaranteed minimum wage will increase to HUF 219,000 (EUR 620). This is a roughly 4% increase in the minimum wage(s) healthcare professionals across the board.
The minimum wage increase impacts the application of Act XCVIII of 2006 on the General Provisions Relating to the Reliable and Economically Feasible Supply of Medicinal Products and Medical Aids and on the Distribution of Medicinal Products (Drug Economy Act).
Pursuant to Section 14(1) of the Drug Economy Act, gifts, pecuniary advantages, or other material benefits cannot be provided, offered, or promised by promoters of medicinal products, directly or indirectly within the framework of the activity provided for commercial practice to persons authorized to prescribe or supply medicinal products or medical aids. However, the Act allows providing gifts, pecuniary advantages, or other material benefits if they are of small value and related to the healthcare activity in which the person entitled to prescribe and distribute medicinal products is engaged, and if the aggregate value thereof does not exceed 60% of the prevailing monthly minimum wage on a yearly basis, As of February 1, 2021 this amount will be HUF 100,400 (EUR 280). Pursuant to legislation, gifts, pecuniary advantages, or other material benefits of small value are defined as any in kind benefit the value of which, including value added tax, or its purchase price or production cost, including value added tax, is less than 5% of the prevailing monthly minimum wage, which is HUF 8,370 (EUR 23).
Under Section 14(3) of the Drug Economy Act, any support provided - whether directly or indirectly - for events and programs for purely professional and scientific purposes must always be reasonable in scope and remain subordinate to the main scientific objective of the meeting. Reasonable support is defined as any support where the cost of the event per person does not exceed 5% of the prevailing monthly minimum wage, which is HUF 8,370 (EUR 23).
On January 1, 2021, the amendment to Act CLIV of 1997 on Healthcare entered into force, which regulated the rules of the so-called “gratitude money”.
Following provision of the healthcare services, healthcare professionals can accept a one-time gift from their patients or the relative of the patient, the value of which cannot exceed 5% of the prevailing monthly minimum wage. In the course of long-term patient healthcare services, healthcare professionals can accept a gift from the patient or the relative of the patient once in every two months. The value of the gift cannot exceed 5% of the prevailing monthly minimum wage, which is HUF 8,370 (EUR 23).
1 HUF 359.78 = EUR 1.00