European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

Joint Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries

The Joint Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Public Services Union (EPSU) today signed an EU-wide agreement to prevent injuries from needlesticks and other sharp objects.

The Joint Framework Agreement was concluded after five months of negotiations by the European social partner organisations in the sector, which employs around 3.5 million people.

Background
In 2006, the European Parliament adopted a resolution requesting the Commission to submit a legislative proposal on protecting healthcare workers from blood-borne infections due to needle stick injuries.
After the two-stage consultations on this issue, in 2006 and 2007, the EU social partners decided to organise a technical seminar with all stakeholders (nurses, doctors, surgeons and so on), which highlighted the many causes of injuries in hospitals and healthcare services.
In December 2008, they informed the Commission of their intention to negotiate on a wider basis covering all types of sharp injuries (including needle sticks). The negotiations, to which the commission provided technical and logistical support, started in January 2009 and were completed on 2 June 2009.

The agreement aims to:
– achieve the safest possible working environment for employees in the sector and protect workers at risk;
– prevent injuries to workers caused by all types of sharp medical objects (including needle sticks);
– set up an integrated approach to assessing and preventing risks as well as to training and informing workers.

At the request of the European social partners and after having examined their representativeness and the legal conformity of the text, the Commission intends to submit, after the summer, a proposal to the Council for implementation of the agreement by a directive, in accordance with article 139 of the Treaty. The agreement specifically addresses one of the priority objectives of the EU’s current strategy for health and safety at work (2007-2012).

FULL TEXT: HOSPEEM-EPSU Sharp injuries signed joint agreement

EU health ministers to let the national experts run their national healthcare systems

Press release

Hospital Social Partners urge EU health ministers to let the national experts run their national healthcare systems

We cannot let market forces run healthcare systems or we will end up with a two-tier system of healthcare delivery” said Godfrey Perera, General Secretary, European Hospital and Healthcare Employers association (HOSPEEM).

The Hospital sector employers and trade unions in Europe today joined forces to send a message to EU Health Ministers. The Social Partners for the sector were speaking on the draft EU directive on cross-border healthcare which is being discussed by EU Health Ministers in Luxembourg today.

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), represented by Karen Jennings (UNISON, UK) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers association (HOSPEEM), represented by Mr. Perera sent the joint message to the EU Health Ministers before 600 public service trade unionists at the EPSU Congress in Brussels.

They urged the EU Ministers to base the directive on a joint legal basis of public health and the internal market. The joint basis would have allowed Member States to ensure that all citizens have equal rights to high quality healthcare based on medical need, and not just the ability to pay their travel, accommodation and other costs.

EPSU Chair of the Healthcare Committee, Karen Jennings:
“The EU Ministers, meeting today, have a chance to put this health debate back on the right track, by recognizing that the universal principles of healthcare solidarity are the starting point and not the internal market”.

Secretary General of HOSPEEM, Godfrey Perera:
“To guard the principle of healthcare systems based on solidiarity, national healthcare systems must have the right to organise those systems – to do this, they need proper prior authorisation abilities”.

The issue of allowing Member State to give prior authorisation to patients, who wish to travel, remains a major issue, as is the need to consider the subject of rare diseases under separate legislations. The EU Health Ministers are expected to conclude discussions tomorrow, 10 June.

For further information, please contact:
EPSU: Brian Synnott +32 474 98 96 75 | E-mail: epsu@epsu.org
HOSPEEM: Valeria Ronzitti / Gin Ngan +32 2 229 21 57 | E-mail: hospeem@hospeem.eu

HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national , regional and local employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP.

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC. 8 million public service workers from over 200 trade unions are members. They organise workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration.

Green paper on EU health workforce

Green paper on EU health workforce: Commissioner Vassiliou calls for social partners’ contribution

Press Communication

European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM)
European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU)

On Monday 14 July a joint Hospital Social Partner delegation met Commissioner Vassiliou.

Commissioner Vassiliou explained the rationale for promoting the Cross-border Healthcare Directive. She underlined in particular the need for better collaboration between the Member States as well as the establishment of centres of excellence as one major objective of the directive. Christina Carlsen, while welcoming the intention of bringing legal clarity, expressed HOSPEEM’s concern that the planning capacity at national level might face new challenges. “It will be difficult to foresee what flow of patients we have to expect”, said HOSPEEM Vice Secretary General. According to the Commission services this directive would count for 1 % of the EU population with a perspective to increase to 4 % in the future. The bulk of medical treatment will continue to be delivered at home. Where medical treatment is sought abroad this will be delivered mainly under the provisions of regulation 1408, for example during major sports events. “If this is the case, why not adapt the existing regulations in accordance with EU jurisprudence?” asked Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU.General Secretary. “We therefore wonder what exactly the added value of the proposed directive will be?”

Importantly, Commissioner Vassiliou agreed on the need to develop structured cooperation with the Hospital Social Partners in the future. DG SANCO intends to publish a Green paper on health workforce, in December 2008.

The European-wide lack of qualified health professionals and the migration of health care professionals within and across the European Union borders require a common policy at European level.

Commissioner Vassiliou invited the social partners to address the questions related to health staff shortages in Europe. The role of employers and workers is a key factor when it comes to successfully developing and implementing these policies”

The starting point for an had hoc input of the social partners to the ongoing Commission work will be the Code of Conduct and follow up on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention in the Hospital Sector, signed in April 2007. The text deals with many of the aspects the Commission is intending to tackle, such as strategies to promote ethical cross border recruitment and to prevent acute staff shortages in the so called “donating countries”.

The meeting of the Health Commissioner with the EPSU and HOSPEEM leadership marks a significant step in the relations between the European Commission and European Social Partners in the hospital sector.
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For further information, please contact:

HOSPEEM: Gin Ngan +32 2 229 21 58, hospeem@hospeem.eu
EPSU: Tamara Goosens +32 2 250 10 80, tgoosens@epsu.org

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC. 8 million public service workers and their 213 trade unions are members. They organise workers in health and social services, local and national administration, energy, water, waste.In the health and social services sector EPSU organises 3.5 million members
HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP

First formal meeting of the European Social Partners

Topics for discussion include International recruitment practices and hospital workforce age profile

PR EPSU-HOSPEEM SEPT 2006 | PR EC SEPT 2006EN – Speech – van der PAS | Booklet SD Hospital

  Mr François Ziegler presents the documents for signature to Mr Godfrey Perera, HOSPEEM Secretary General and Ms Karen Jennings (UNISON, UK) EPSU Standing Committee on Health and Social Services President

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) today met jointly in the first formal meeting of a European Sectoral Social Dialogue committee for the hospital sector.

HOSPEEM General Secretary, Godfrey Perera stated that, “To get to this point where representatives of the hospital workforce and management in the European Union can get together to discuss topics is a tremendous achievement. HOSPEEM is fully confident that this collaborative process will make a valuable contribution to the issues facing the hospital sector in the EU.”

EPSU General Secretary, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel added that, “EPSU and HOSPEEM have identified three key areas in the hospital sector where a European approach provides added value; recruitment and retention, the age profile of workers in the sector and the new skill needs required of hospital personnel are all areas that will benefit from being tackled collectively. This process will be a cornerstone in any EU debate on the hospital sector.”

The establishment of the committee represents the first occasion that there will be formal recognition of social partners in the hospital sector at the European level. This is an extremely significant step as it allows the workers and employers to have a direct formal input on EU polices affecting the hospital sector.

Over the last 5 years, as the social partners for the hospital sector at European level, EPSU and HOSPEEM have been working, with European Commission support, to formalise sectoral social dialogue at the European level. The successful agreement to establish a committee marks the end of the ’informal stage’ and the beginning of genuine social partner engagement at the European level for the sector.

The social dialogue process is supported by the Directorate General for Employment and Social Affairs of the European Commission. The formal committee will consists of trade union and employer representatives from all over the 25 EU Member States.

The social partners have agreed a work programme for 2006-2007 that will concentrate on:

  • Recruitment and retention of personnel in the hospital sector;
  • The age profile of the hospital workforce;
  • The new skill requirements for the workforce in the sector.

These items will be linked to items, which are high on the political agenda.

If you want to arrange interviews with EPSU or HOSPEEM leadership or with delegations from one of the countries, please call EPSU press officer Brian Synnott,+32 474 98 96 75 or HOSPEEM secretariat, +32-2-2292157.

For information please contact:

EPSU: Tamara Goosens or Brian Synnott, + 32 2 2501080, email: epsu@epsu.org
HOSPEEM: Valeria Ronzitti + 32 2 2292157, email: hospeem@hospeem.eu

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC. 8 million public service workers and their 213 trade unions are members. They organise workers in health and social services, local and national administration, energy, water, waste. In the health and social services sector EPSU organises 3.5 million members

HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP.