European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

HOSPEEM response to the Commission questionnaire on the practical implementation of Directive 2003/88/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time

Introductory comments

This paper summarises the responses received from HOSPEEM members to the Commission’s questionnaire. As a general remark, HOSPEEM members believe that patients should not be treated by tired staff and that staff are entitled to fair working conditions. While the Working Time Directive has been fully implemented by HOSPEEM members, the Directive and the subsequent rulings of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) have caused the hospital and healthcare sector problems and have imposed significant and unnecessary costs on hospital and healthcare employers.

The main problems emerging from the SiMAP and Jaeger judgments are around the interpretation of the term working time for on-call duties and the requirement for immediate compensatory rest. These rulings have caused serious problems in the operation of health systems and have led to Members States recruiting extra staff to prevent gaps in patient services at a large cost without improving productivity.  HOSPEEM members have been both gainers and losers.  In order to resolve the problems caused by the SiMAP and Jaeger judgments, some HOSPEEM members recruited staff from outside Europe as well as healthcare staff from the new Member States.  Losing staff in this way has had a large adverse impact on those health systems.

FULL TEXT: HOSPEEM Answer WTD questionnaire

HOSPEEM response to the first stage of consultation of the social partners on protecting European healthcare workers from blood-borne infections due to needlestick injuries

The Issue

The European Commission has launched a first stage consultation of the European Social Partners (according to article 138 of the EC Treaty) on protecting European healthcare workers from blood-borne infections due to needlestick injuries. The consultation follows the adoption on 6th of July by the European Parliament of a resolution (hereby “the EP Resolution”) that calls the Commission to bring forward a legislative proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2005/54/EC.

The questions that the Commission is asking are:

  1. Do you consider it useful to take an initiative to strengthen the protection of European healthcare workers from blood-borne infections due to needlestick injuries?
  2. Do you think that a joint initiative by the European Social Partners under Article 139 of the Treaty establishing the European Community would be appropriate?

Position Statement

Needlestick injuries, whilst stressful and with the potential for transmission of a blood-borne infections to staff, are not a major cause of incidents in the healthcare sector in Europe. HOSPEEM members believe that there is sufficient legislation, at European and, consequently, national level, to manage and control the incidence of needlestick injuries, provided that legislation is followed.

Effective management of needlestick injuries requires proper risk assessment, effective and regular training and updates and the provision, in those areas identified by risk assessment as being the most at risk, of safer devices that, if properly used, will reduce the transmission of blood-borne infections. It is not necessary, in areas identified as having little or no risk of transmitting bloodborne infection, to introduce more expensive safer devices.

HOSPEEM supports the principle of subsidiarity in this field. It is the responsibility of Member States to determine the details of regulations the framework of which has been set at European level. This is the approach, for instance, taken by Directive 200/54/EC. HOSPEEM would like this approach to be respected.

FULL TEXT: Response to the first stage of consultation of the social partners on protecting European healthcare workers from blood-borne infections due to needlestick injuries

Response to the Consultation regarding Community action on health services

HOSPEEM is pleased that the Commission acknowledges the general interest nature of healthcare services. These irreplaceable services perform special missions and are provided directly or are controlled by the public authorities or entrusted to specific actors who are responsible for them.  They are therefore subject to a process of public regulation under the general supervision of the Member State based on the objectives of the public policies assigned to them with respect to public health.

HOSPEEM would like to underline the important nature of health services and the requirement of access to quality health services for all citizens.  It recalls that it is the responsibility of Member States to define and to organise the services in question as well as the scope of coverage of the health and social needs to be satisfied, in keeping with the principles of subsidiarity and of universal access to healthcare services in the Member States. Furthermore, healthcare services are characterised by asymmetric information between the principal (the patient) and the agent (the doctor). Therefore, we consider as main result that economic allocation of the usual market mechanisms do not apply in this area, but rather resources are planned/organised by the respective authorities.

In view of the diversity of the services concerned and the variety of approaches, organisational and funding methods in the Member States, HOSPEEM welcomes an in depth consultation on these matters.

At the end of this consultation process, the relationship between a possible general framework on services of general economic interest and potential legal initiatives on health services should be answered. Furthermore, any future Community action should include an assessment of the potential impact on national healthcare systems.

FULL TEXT: Response to the Consultation regarding Community action on health services

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.

HOSPEEM-EPSU Social Dialogue Conference, March 2006

Promoting realistic active ageing policies in the hospital sector

Introduction

This study charts the age profile of the hospital sector workforce in Europe and identifies and analyses initiatives within the hospital sector that have addressed the issue of an ageing workforce. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) commissioned the study, which received support from the European Commission under budget line 04.03.03.01.

The development of European level social dialogue in the hospital sector started with a conference in May 2000. A second conference took place in 2002, which underlined the importance of developing dialogue in the light of enlargement. The conference also highlighted two key issues for the sectoral social dialogue, issues around free movement of workers and skill shortages faced by hospitals in numerous Western European countries. While these issues remain, active ageing is increasingly topical and its profile continues to increase mainly because of the demographic changes, the poor position of older workers in the labour market and recent developments taken by governments to increase retirement ages.

The HOSPEEM/EPSU conference on 16-17 March 2006 was the fourth pan-European meeting with the core aim of formalising the social dialogue in the hospital sector in the EU. The initial findings of this study were presented at the conference. This final report presents the research findings and takes into consideration comments and views from conference participants. More specifically this report provides an overview of the age profile of the hospital sector workforce in the EU (EU-25), as well as outline differences between the ’Old’ (EU-15) and ’New’ (EU-10) Member States in more detail.

In addition to an overview of the hospital sector, a series of case studies of regional and local initiatives that aim to address the challenges of demographic change and promote realistic active ageing measures among the hospital sector workforce are presented. National initiatives supported both by employers and unions have also been included.

Finally, this report also assesses ways in which sectoral social dialogue at the European level can help to address the issue of an ageing workforce.

FULL REPORTS: EN – Ageing Policies | FR – Ageing Policies

Identifying successful training initiatives in the hospital sector

Aims and objectives of the study

The key aim of this report is to analyse how the social partners in the hospital sector have addressed the issue of meeting new skill needs and the adaptation of existing job profiles to deal with the new challenges and requirements facing the sector in Europe. This study informed a key debate during the conference “Formalising the European sectoral Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector” in 2006 and is intended to inform the ongoing dialogue between EPSU and HOSPEEM.

The report provides a short overview of categories of health professionals and workers. It also discusses skill needs and workforce challenges in the hospital sector. It then analyses the key trends in the evolution of the roles and responsibilities of these professions as well as the role of professional qualifications in the ability to undertake new roles. This analysis also examines the potential or existing difficulties in introducing new definitions of roles and new skills. The report will then provide examples of national initiatives to introduce new skills to health professional and workers and identify a route map on how the above mentioned issues could be addressed by the social partners in the framework of sectoral social dialogue. The report will summarise the main findings in the conclusions.

It is not the aim of this study to elaborate all existing job profiles among hospital sector staff and the training requirements for each role in different EU Member States. The emphasis of this study is on the key challenges facing the European hospital sector relating to technological, economic, social and demographic change and the way in which this is affecting skill requirements and job profiles. It provides examples of how training and job profiles have been adapted in different countries to meet these requirements in order to act as an inspiration for the social dialogue process.

FULL REPORTS: EN – Skills | FR – Skills

Cross-border recruitment of hospital professionals

Overview of the study

This study charts the migration profile of the hospital sector workforce in Europe and identifies and analyses initiatives within the hospital sector that have addressed the issues arising from a mobile workforce. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and the European Hospital Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) commissioned the study to inform the development of a social dialogue in the hospital sector, which received support from the European Commission under budget line 04.03.03.01.

The development of European level social dialogue in the hospital sector started with a conference in May 2000. A second conference took place in 2002, which underlined the importance of developing dialogue in the light of enlargement. The conference also highlighted three key issues for the sectoral social dialogue; issues around free movement of workers, skills shortages faced by hospitals in numerous Western European countries, and the problems presented by an ever increasing workforce.

The HOSPEEM / EPSU conference on 16-17 March 2006 was the fourth pan-European meeting with the core aim of formalising the social dialogue in the hospital sector in the EU. The initial findings of this study were presented at the conference. This final report presents the research findings and takes into consideration comments and views from conference participants. More specifically this report attempts to provide an overview of migration patterns amongst the hospital sector workforce in the EU (EU-25) and to assess ways in which sectoral social dialogue at the European level can help to address the issues presented by migration and mobility among the hospital workforce.

FULL REPORTS: EN – Mobility | FR – Mobility

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.

Social Partners' work programme 2006-2007

Work Programme 2006-2007

1. Introduction

The Committee’s work programme is multi-annual (initially for two years) and sets out the strategy and goals we want to achieve and the themes to jointly react on.

The programme deals with a limited number of topics / issues in order to ensure qualitative results.

2. Objectives

HOSPEEM and EPSU shall aim to strengthen the possibilities of the social partners to shape the future developments regarding employment in the hospital sector and to articulate European, national, regional and local levels of social dialogue. The Social Partners shall in particular:

  • Promote quality hospital services based on values of social responsibility and accountability.
  • Actively contributing to the shaping of the debate at European level on the delivery and organisation of hospital services.
  • Organise activities to strengthen social dialogue between employer and trade unions organisations in the hospital sector in the new Member States;
  • Complement the work of the cross-sectoral social partners where appropriate;
  • Address initiatives by the European Commission in the field of employment policy and other policies having an impact on the hospital sector.
  • Participation in the Commission’s policy-making and activities on the European sectoral social dialogue, including the Liaison Forum for the Adaptation and Promotion of Social Dialogue.

3. Themes

Suggested themes are:

  • Statement supporting the establishment of working groups in the agreed subject areas of; Recruitment and retention
  • One working group.
  • Identifying common positions for cross-border recruitment of hospital personnel

The ageing workforce in the hospital sector

  • One working group;
  • Identifying member state and regional initiatives to promote realistic active ageing policies.

New skill needs in the hospital sector

  • One working group;
  • Defining existing categories of hospital professionals and workers. Identifying successful training initiatives and weak-points.
  • Organisation of a seminar and workshops on industrial relations to support the development of social dialogue in the hospital sector in the new Member States;

4. Implementation

Following agreement on these broad lines of the work programme, a more precise programme will be drawn up with the European Commission to fix the timetable and detailed arrangements for implementation of the work programme.

European Committee launched in the hospital sector

“Social Partners committed to full role in defining EU health policy”

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

At the Conference organised to launch this development, HOSPEEM General Secretary Godfrey Perera stated that; “this committee will allow the key actors, workers and employers together, to contribute to the positive development of the hospital sector. The challenges being faced in the sector are the same throughout the EU. This process will allow us to share information, to highlight best practice, and to make common responses to upcoming EU initiatives”.

EPSU General Secretary, Ms. Carola Fischbach-Pyttel added that “the hospital sector is one of the most sensitive and strategically important sectors. In a European Union context this is particularly the case, as there is increasing ambiguity as to how much the hospital sector is influenced by EU policy, while officially remaining strictly a Member State concern. We welcome this initiative and are fully committed to playing a constructive role”.

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.

For information please contact Tamara Goosens or Brian Synnott, + 32 2 2501080 or send an email to epsu@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.

Press conference

Launch of European Social Partners Committee for the Hospital sector in the European Union

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) will jointly announce the creation of a European Sectoral social dialogue committee for the hospital sector.

Press Conference 17 March 2006

 

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.