European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

WHO consultation on human resources in High Income Countries

4-5 September 2013, Oslo

The cooperation between HOSPEEM and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on recruitment and retention issues is dynamically developing. Tjitte Alkema, Secretary General of HOSPEEM a second time this year has attended as a speaker a WHO meeting after the Conference on mobility and recruitment of healthcare workers in May in Amsterdam.

The meeting took place in Oslo in September 2013 and was organised in the form of a consultation. It concerned the challenges that High Income Countries (HIC) are facing with regard to the issue of human resources in the healthcare sector. The aim of the consultation was to gather the HIC’s contributions for the upcoming 3rd WHO Global Forum on Human Resources for Health.

In his speech Mr Alkema highlighted the importance of the HOSPEEM-EPSU Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention in the Hospital Sector signed in 2008, two years ahead of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel and the key social partners’ role in that successful initiative. As another example of effective cooperation on healthcare workforce issues between all crucial stakeholders in the sector, including employers’ associations and the government, Mr Alkema indicated current forecasting of the resources demand in the Netherlands. ʽʽIt often seems that WHO and national governments do not easily connect with social partners. For the effective approach to the dilemmas in the field of cross-border ethical recruitment calls for close cooperation with all relevant stakeholders.’’ – said Mr Alkema.

Finally, Mr Alkema stated that ethical cross-border recruitment and retention in the sector requires a broader perspective. This includes providing employees with good working conditions and proper wages that due to austerity programms are at the moment under pressure by government interventions. He also emphasised that delivery of health services in HIC becomes not only a matter of respecting basic human rights. Nowadays we can observe a trend of “consuming” health services which has taken the form of delivering “scarce luxury goods”. In solving the problem of sufficient health care professionals we should consider how far we want to go in fulfilling all the needs in health care demand that do not necessarily align with good quality of life.

Read more about the consultation

HOSPEEM replies to the EC public consultation on occupational health & safety

HOSPEEM has replied to the public consultation launched by the European Commission further to the results of the evaluation of the European Strategy on Safety and Health at Work 2007-2012 (http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=699&consultId=13&furtherConsult=yes).

The aim of the consultation is to identify current and future challenges in the occupational safety and health area and instruments to tackle these challenges.

In its reply HOSPEEM supported the approach to define common general objectives for the future health and safety policies at European level. However, the organisation stated that actions in this field have to be targeted on each national situation, legislation, organisation and practice. HOSPEEM emphasised also the importance of social partners’ involvement in the future health and safety-related initiatives.

HOSPEEM_reply_EC_public consultation_on_OSH

EPSU-HOSPEEM Response to the European Commission’s Green Paper on Reviewing the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications 2005/36/EC

HOSPEEM, the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association, and EPSU, the European Public Service Union, have decided to submit a joint response to the Green Paper.
It has to be read as complementary to the response sent by EPSU on 20 September and to replies of individual EPSU or HOSPEEM members.
This joint reply reflects the issues, concerns and proposals on which full or broad consensus between the European social partners for the hospital and health care sector could be reached.

FULL TEXT: Professional Qualification Directive joint EPSU HOSPEEM response to the green paper

HOSPEEM – EPSU contribution to public consultation on the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (2005/36/EC)

HOSPEEM, the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association, and EPSU, the European Public Service Union, have decided to submit a joint response to this consultation. It has to be read as complementary to the response sent by EPSU on the 15th of March 2011 and to replies of individual EPSU or HOSPEEM members.

This joint reply reflects the issues, concerns and proposals on which full or broad consensus between the European social partners for the hospital and health care sector could be reached.

FULL TEXT: EPSU-HOSPEEM joint reply to consultation on DRPQ

HOSPEEM response to the second-phase consultation “Reviewing the Working Time Directive” under Article 154 of the TFUE

FULL TEXT: HOSPEEM response 2nd phase consultation working time directive

HOSPEEM welcomes the second stage consultation[1] published by the European Commission and the report on the implementation by Member States of Directive 2003/88/EC[2]. The two documents provide a deep and interesting analysis on the implementation of the Directive and on the response of each Member State in complying with the Directive. The Consultation paper has pointed out the main issues of relevance and HOSPEEM is pleased to read from the consultation that the concerns raised with the response to the first consultation in May 2010 have been addressed by the European Commission.

As highlighted in HOSPEEM’s response to the first phase consultation, the interpretation given by the European Court of Justice to cases SIMAP (C-303/98), Jaeger (C-151/02) and Dellas (C-14/04) has challenged the ability of health service employers to properly organise healthcare services in the EU 27, especially hospital services delivering 24/7 patient care, some highly specialised services and small and remote units.

HOSPEEM made clear in the previous response that more flexibility is needed in order to provide hospital managers with the necessary resources, in terms of staff, to organise health services efficiently. As underlined on several occasions[3], the current and the future shortages of health professionals is one of the main issues of concern for our sector and it needs to be addressed in order to ensure that European healthcare services will be able to deliver high quality healthcare to an increasingly ageing European population.

HOSPEEM as a European Social partner is committed to develop strategies to encourage young people to undertake jobs in the health sector, in particular by enhancing the attractiveness of the health care sector as a place to work. This work needs to be supported by a European legislation that allows flexible and modern working patterns.



[1] COM (2010) 801 final Communication from the Commission to the Parliament, the Council and the Committee of the Regions Reviewing the Working Time Directive (Second-phase consultation of the social partners at European level under Article 154 TFEU)

[2] COM (2010) 802 final Report from the Commission to the Parliament, the Council and the Committee of the Regions on implementation by Member States of Directive 2003/88/EC (‘The Working Time Directive’).

[3]Report on the open consultation on the Green Paper on the European Workforce for Health”, December 2009; “Council conclusions on investing in Europe’s health workforce of tomorrow: Scope for innovation and collaboration”, December 2010; “HOSPEEM and EPSU Framework of Action on Recruitment and Retention”, December 2010.

HOSPEEM response to the second-stage of consultation on the protection of workers from the risk related to exposure to electromagnetic fields at work under Article 154 of the TFUE

Introductory comments

The European Commission, following the provisions of article 154 of the Treaty, has launched a second stage social partner consultation on the protection of workers from the risk related to exposure to electromagnetic fields at work. HOSPEEM responded to the first stage consultation underling its support for an approach to the issue based on risk assessment and emphasising the strong health and safety culture which characterises the healthcare sector, stressing that the safeguard of workers and patients is guaranteed through several practices already in place in the sector.

Moreover, HOSPEEM expressed deep concern with regard to the exposure limit values established in Directive 2004/40/EC that would have ruled out certain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) practices, leading to the unwelcome consequence of requiring the use of different medical imaging techniques, based on ionising radiation, which has serious potential long term effects on health.

HOSPEEM welcomes the European Commission’s second stage consultation document and in particular the proposed approach it sets out in relation to the use of MRI in the healthcare sector.

FULL TEXT: HOSPEEM EMF second stage response

HOSPEEM response to the first-phase consultation “Reviewing the Working Time Directive” under Article 154 of the TFUE

FULL TEXT: HOSPEEM response to WTD consultation

The European Commission, following the provisions of article 154 of the Treaty, has launched the Consultation “Reviewing the Working Time Directive”. The aim of this document is to seek the social partners’ views on possible action that could be undertaken at Community level regarding any revision of Directive 2003/88/EC[1] “Working time Directive”.

HOSPEEM contributed to the earlier consultation focusing on the organisation of working time in the healthcare systems of the Member States. This is an issue of great importance to the health sector that delivers a 24-hour service, 365 days a year. Patient safety and the safety of health workers are of paramount importance to HOSPEEM members. As the health sector is a 24-hour service, it needs flexibility to deliver high quality care. Therefore HOSPEEM believes that, in order to run efficient health services in the European Union, it is important that any future changes to the directive should include real flexibility to ensure well functioning health services, able to match European citizens’ needs in the 21stcentury, as well as proper protection measures to ensure the health and safety of all those who work in health services.


[1] DIRECTIVE 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, 4 November 2003, concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time.

HOSPEEM – EPSU joint clarification of the Framework agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector

HOSPEEM and EPSU have agreed a joint reply concerning the agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector. This document is a joint clarification to questions that the social partners received from the members of the Social Question Working Party Meeting, on 25 January 2010.

HOSPEEM and EPSU were invited during the meeting to give a contribution with regard to analysing the text of the agreement. As joint signatories to the agreement the social partners were invited to clarify the technical points in the agreement.

FULL TEXT: Questions to the social partners – Joint reply

HOSPEEM-EPSU Statement on the Proposal for a Directive on the Application of Patients’ Rights in Cross-border Healthcare

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU) agree Joint Statement on the Proposal for a Directive on the application of Patients’ rights in Cross-border Healthcare.

FULL TEXT: HOSPEEM-EPSU Statement on the Proposal for a Directive on the Application of Patients’ Rights in Cross-border

HOSPEEM response to the first consultation of the European social partners on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to electromagnetic fields at work

This paper summarises the responses received from HOSPEEM members to the Commission’s consultation on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to electromagnetic fields at work.

Summary

The protection of the health workforce from workplace risks is a key priority for hospital and healthcare employers across Europe and HOSPEEM fully supports the risk assessment-based approach which underpins the legislative framework for health and safety at work. There is a strong safety culture in the hospital and healthcare sector, focussing on minimising risks to both workers and the patients they care for.

In this context, given the lack of evidence for any long-term adverse health effects and the exceptional rarity of even short term effects associated with the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the hospital and healthcare sector, HOSPEEM’s view is that the directive 2004/40/EC, in its current form, is not fit for purpose. In fact, if implemented it could expose healthcare workers to greater risks as it would be likely to lead to the increased use of other imaging techniques that rely on ionising radiation, the potential negative health effects of which are well known. HOSPEEM would therefore support a revision of the existing directive so that it is based upon the principle of risk assessment, excluding restrictive compliance with exposure limit values for the hospital and healthcare sector which already has alternative adequate safeguards in place.

FULL TEXT: HOSPEEM response to EMF first Social Partner Consultation