As if we had too many nurses lining up to work in hospitals for a pittance…
There may be a severe labor shortage, and an even worse one in health care, but politics is still more important. In Hungary, a hospital fired a nurse for a Fidesz-critical comment, even though they are not exactly awash with medical professionals. In fact, said nurse was fired for saying exactly that.
It happened in the hospital of Siófok. A nurse told atv.hu that she was fired for making a sarcastic comment on Facebook on a post of the local Fidesz MP, about entire hospital departments being on the verge of shutting down for lack of workers. She said the hospital fired her with immediate effect and she was told that “one can’t afford to post political comments in this political situation” and that it made the hospital look bad. (presumably by attracting political wrath from above and repelling funding from same).
When ATV first went to Siófok to make an interview with the nurse, their cameraman was thrown out of the hospital parking lot by three security guards, damaging the camera.
The reason why a lowly nurse would labor under the misapprehension that she can just have a non-Fidesz political view in the 9th year of Orbán’s rule is probably that she had spent seven years working abroad and was infected by the decay of the declining West, where a citizen can just be critical of a mighty Party Member and keep her job.
She returned to Hungary in October 2018 and volunteered in the campaign of Róbert Lengyel, the non-Fidesz mayoral candidate (independent with opposition support) of Siófok. The local elections in October 2019 caused quite a bit of shock when opposition candidates won half of Hungary’s cities and numerous city councils. Siófok was won by Lengyel and the opposition even took over the city council. The shock didn’t go down well in Fidesz and the situation became tense.
“After the opposition won in Siófok, we have become unwanted. They called me after sharing the post to report to the director of nursing immediately”
According to her account she was told many times how badly her anti-Fidesz remarks affect the hospital. She was ordered to delete her post immediately, she agreed to do so, but they couldn’t afford to let her stay. The next day she was asked to sign the papers, but she refused because they were missing the reason of termination. She is suing the hospital for wrongful termination.
There was another unexplained firing at the hospital, a medical director no less. He had run for office in his district, won, ad he was asked to become the deputy mayor under Lengyel. At that point he offered his resignation at the hospital, but they have asked him to stay on as head of department for surgery (as I said, severe labor shortage). Yet, after the above mentioned incident he was also dismissed. He refused to share more about what exactly happened, but Róberl Lengyel, Siófok’s mayor clearly linked the two incidents:
“It is outrageous and sad that 30 years after the end of communism such a thing can happen, they can fire a nurse and a doctor without explanation while a range of professionals are missing from health care… You can’t even run at elections as independent candidate against the powerful, even that is unforgivable now.”