Following the study visit to members’ organizations in the Baltic States, HOSPEEM visited its Irish member, the Irish Health Service – HSE on 17 April 2014.
During a meeting at the Irish Department of Health, the ongoing reform of the Irish health system was discussed. A deep reform of the system which is based on the 4 key interdependent pillars of health and wellbeing, service reform, structural reform and financial reform and that will change many aspects of the health service leading Ireland to a single-tier health service, supported by Universal Health Insurance (UHI) foreseen to be adopted in 2016.
At the HSE Corporate Employee Relations Services, Mr John Delamere, head of the Corporate Employee Relations (CERS) and representative of HSE within HOSPEEM, and the managers of CERS discussed with HOSPEEM their respective priorities. The focus was put in particular on the areas of common interest in the industrial relations and occupational health and safety fields, where CERS and HOSPEEM are closely working together and will further strengthen their cooperation.
The day was concluded by a visit to the Beaumont Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in Ireland with 3,500 employees, 800 beds, with specialisation in neurosurgery, renal medicine and cancer care. HOSPEEM had the opportunity to meet the managing board of the hospital and to appreciate how, even when financial resources are limited innovative management measures and good cooperation with staff can help to maintain high standards of service delivered to patients.
HOSPEEM thanks John Delamere, Norah Mason and HSE CERS, as well as the Beaumont Hospital for the warm welcome and the fruitful exchange.
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The development of Health and Safety Catalogues [arbocatalogus] is relatively new in the Netherlands. Dutch legislators have decided to give employers and employees at sector level a significant degree of responsability for health and safety policy. Centralised policy rules and regulations give way to sector-specific customisation. For example The Health and Safety catalogue for the hospital sector has been developed for all members of the Dutch Hospital Association (HOSPEEM Member NVZ- Nederlandse Vereniging van Ziekenhuizen) and organisations covered by the collective agreement of the hospital sector in the Netherlands. This Health and Safety catalogue also covers the use of medical sharps.
In the Netherlands the Dutch Working Conditions Act (Arbeidsomstandighedenwet) determines target requirements for safety and health at work and serves as a guideline. But the Health and Safety catalogue at sector level provides a description of the means and methods agreed upon by employers and employees to meet the target requirements of the Working Conditions Act. In the Health and Safety catalogue employers’ organisations and trade unions describe, on their own initiative, how they will meet the target requirements, including the use of medical sharps for the hospital sector. It is also possible to link a collective agreement with a Health and Safety catalogue and this emphasises the official nature of the Health and Safety catalogue.
To read more about the position of the Dutch Health and Safety catalogue in the Dutch Health and Safety legislation, download the summary.
To find out what is a Health and Safety catalogue in the Netherlands, download the leaflet of the Dutch Labour Foundation (2007).
Equality between women and men is a fundamental principle on which the European Union has been built. Despite the progress made over the last decades, women’s employment rate is still below 60% in most EU countries, compared with almost 75% for men in 2012.
This toolkit is a one-stop online facility promoting a selection of a wide range of practices initiated at workplace level or by national social partners. The toolkit is linked to the four interconnected priorities of the Framework of Actions on gender equality signed by the EU cross-sectoral social partners in 2005:
- Addressing gender roles
- Promoting women in decision-making
- Supporting work-life balance
- Tackling the gender pay gap.
The toolkit catalogues a multitude of best practice initiatives, with a balanced perspective, in 25 different European countries, from all kinds of sectors, from large to micro enterprises, from all the different national social partners based on unilateral, bipartite and tripartite actions. Most of these have received local or national recognition for fostering gender equality. This online database was launched by BUSINESS EUROPE, CEEP, UEAPME and ETUC at a major conference in Madrid in May 2014.
Elvira Gentile, HOSPEEM Vice-Secretary General, ARAN, Italy:“The toolkit has a very concrete approach, because it collects 100 best practices from 25 European countries linked to the four above priorities and all stakeholders can consult the initiatives online, selecting those relevant to overcome their specific problems.”
Consult the toolkit here