Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government agreed with the Hungarian Medical Chamber on a substantial wage hike for doctors on Saturday, as the country braces for a further rise in coronavirus cases that could strain its healthcare system.

In a video posted after a meeting between government members and MOK representatives, Orbán said the government had accepted the chamber’s proposal regarding the wage increase, and will submit a bill to parliament on Monday.

The meeting focused on the coronavirus pandemic, Orbán said. “It is clear that the pandemic is on the rise and the trend will remain so until a vaccine is at hand,” he said. Last week’s Brussels summit made it clear that a vaccine cannot be expected before mid-2021, he added.

Hospitals will be under enormous pressure in the coming 7 to 8 months, Orbán said. Doctors and nurses will need to work beyond their strength to heal and ensure adequate care to all those infected, he said.

The government agreed with MOK that such an effort will be impossible to maintain without a wage hike, Orbán said.

We need to stand together, and achieve a breakthrough in improving doctors’ wages, Orbán said.