2018 data for gross hourly wages and gross monthly wages of health care personnel were published in the Health Statistics and Health Research Database.
The hourly wages of health care personnel were significantly higher in March 2018 compared to the previous year, average growth was 10-20 percent. The last time such a big growth happened, was five years ago.
Average gross hourly wage of full- and part-time physicians without premiums was 13.66 euros, and it increased by 13.5% compared to 2017. Dentists hourly wage increased by 19.2% to 18.49 euros. The hourly wage (without premiums) of nurses and caring personnel was 6.69 and 3.90 euros respectively, and growth was accordingly by 12.7% and 10.2%.
Average gross hourly wage (with premiums) of physicians working full- and part-time was 15.32 euros and of dentists 19.34 euros, growth compared to 2017 was 14.9% and 18.4% respectively. The hourly wage (with premiums) of nurses was 7.48 euros, and it had increased by 15.5% and caring personnel wage was 4.53 euros, and it had increased by 14.2%.
According to the health care personnel wage agreement the minimum hourly wage of physicians was 10.53 euros in March 2018, for specialist physicians 10.90 euros. The minimum hourly wage for specialist physicians applies to a doctor registered as a specialist physician and who provides specialized medical care, general medical care or an emergency medical care. The minimum hourly wage for a physician applies for a person who is working in the position requiring the qualification of a doctor (assistant physicians, general practitioners, resident physicians). The minimum hourly wage for nurses, midwives and other health care support specialists was 6.03 euros, for ambulance technicians 5,13, for emergency care technicians 5,43 and for caring personnel 3.70 euros.
Although for the majority of health care personnel the hourly wages exceed the value that is set in the wage agreement, and compared to the last year, the number of under wage agreement paid positions have been decreased, there are still workers whose remuneration was lower. There were 12% of specialist physicians, 9% of nurses and 2% of caring personnel who earned lower wage than the agreement sets. Nearly half of specialist physicians, whose earnings was lower than the minimum wage, worked in family doctor offices. It should be taken into account that in private sector there is a possibility to take out dividends and by that way receive additional income.
The increase in the average monthly wage was lower compared to hourly wages growth. This is due to the number of regular working hour in March –there were 184 regular working hours in 2017 and 168 in 2018. Full-time physicians’ average gross monthly wage together with all additional remunerations was 2696 euros, for nurses 1354 and for caring personnel 853 euros, increased within a year by 6.3%, 8.4% and 7.4% respectively.
Even though the wage of Estonian health care personnel increased rapidly within a year, it doesn’t reach the wage of Finnish health care personnel. According to the Statistics Finland, the average monthly gross wage for physicians was 6874 and for nurses 2942 euros.
The Estonian state average monthly wage in the first quarter was 1242 euros, which is 7.7% higher compared to previous year. The average wage of physicians is 2.2 times higher than the state average. The wage of nurses is 9% higher than the state average wage and caring personnel wage formed 69% of the state average.