Helsinki pays bonus for doctors, to ease health centre symptoms

There's a permanent monthly pay raise, plus a temporary bonus which runs for six months as a way to attract more doctors to the city.

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File picture showing interior of hospital / Credit; iStock

The City of Helsinki will pay a €1000 per month bonus to health centre doctors until the end of June 2020; and award a €250 per month permanent salary increase as well.

It’s part of a plan to overcome a shortage of doctors working in community health centres, and speed up the availability of appointment times for patients.

The pay rise and temporary bonus will be paid not only to current staff, but also to any doctors who come to work in the city from the start of January.

“From the point of view of the operation of health centers, shortages of medical staff have numerous effects, although for patients this is mainly seen as problems with access to physicians. For this reason the correction of the shortages are our absolute priority” says Timo Lukkarinen, City of Helsinki’s Chief Medical Officer.

City officials say they’re justified in awarding bonuses because the work of doctors is becoming more demanding at health centres due to staff shortages. But they also want to make a financial solution just one aspect of tackling the problem.

“In Helsinki we work hard to ensure doctors’ work is diverse, interesting and well resourced” says Lukkarinen.