Data from a recent National Institute for Health Development (TAI) wage study shows that wages in the healthcare sector increased in all groups in 2021. The median wage for doctors increased to €3,467.
The wage growth was accelerated by overtime pay in addition to the salary, bonuses for evening and night hours and other regular bonuses. The increase in bonuses stems from the coronavirus period.
The annual growth of the median monthly wage was fastest among nurses and caretakers.
The median wage for doctors in addition to bonuses increased 14 percent to €3,467 in 2021. Nurses saw an increase of 21 percent to €1,908 and care workers' wages went through an increase of 23 percent to €1,220.
Doctors' median basic monthly salaries went up 9 percent to €2,750 in 2021, the basic monthly salary went up 13 percent to €1,550 for nurses and 12 percent to €966 for caretakers. Basic monthly salaries have increased in previous years, as well.
TAI health statistics analyst Kai Maasoo said the annual increase of monthly basic salaries decelerated in the healthcare sector and the increase stemmed largely from bonuses. "This points to an increased amount of bonuses, especially among nurses and care workers," the analyst noted.
The average gross hourly wage in Estonia in the first quarter of 2021 was €8.99, an increase of 7.4 percent year-on-year. "The gross hourly wage for doctors, nurses and caretakers has increased faster than the average Estonian wage. The average wage for doctors is 2.1 times higher than the average Estonian wage and the average for nurses is 1.2 higher," Maasoo said.
"These indicators have been the same for many years. At the same time, the average hourly wage for care workers is a fourth lower than the average wage," the analyst added.
The average gross hourly wage with regular bonuses increased by 10 percent year-on-year for doctors, 6 percent for dentists, 16 percent for nurses and 22 percent for caretakers. "The average hourly wage growth for doctors and dentists slowed down some, but increased significantly for nurses and caretakers when compared to March 2020," Maasoo added.
According to the collective healthcare worker contract, the minimum hourly in March 2021 for doctors was €13.30 and €14.40 for specialized doctors. The minimum hourly wage for nurses, midwives and health support professionals was €6.80 and €5 for caretakers. The wages of resident doctors was comparable to that of doctors.
Although most of the sector's hourly wages exceed the minimum stated in the collective contract, there are still employees whose wages were below that of the minimum rate in the contract.
Compared to March 2020, wages increased most for anesthesia and intensive care nurses, geriatric nurses and pulmonology nurses.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste