European Hospital & Healthcare Employers’ Association

EU-OSHA Campaign – Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load

Brussels, 12 October 2020

The EU-level Sectoral Social Partners for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS), the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM) and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) applied to become official campaign partner of the EU-OSHA Campaign 2020-2022 Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load.

Marta Branca, Vice-Secretary General of HOSPEEM, said: “Sustainable participation of all health professionals is the most direct contribution to dealing with potential workforce-related issues. HOSPEEM will continue to promote the creation and maintenance of the safest possible workplaces and to promote active participation in continuing professional development (CPD) and life-long learning (LLL) for all health professionals. Ergonomic design is needed to improve healthcare facilities and to overcome the possible future decline in numbers of healthcare workers. I am convinced that our work and initiatives in the field of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the framework of the EU SSDC HS will lead to safer and healthier workplaces across Europe.”

Jan-Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU, stressed that “MSDs are by far the most common work-related health problem among European workers. The social and economic consequences of this are now becoming abundantly clear. Millions of workers are no longer able to do certain tasks or even have to stop work altogether before retirement age. EPSU is strongly convinced that the wellbeing at work is a fundamental right, and we are ready to cooperate with employers to ensure it.”

Recent European statistics underline the need to address prevention of MSD in the health sector: The 2019 European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks showed that 59% establishments in the sector reported existing risk factors such as painful positions and 54% lifting or moving people or heavy loads. These findings are supported by results from the 6th European Working Conditions Survey, which highlighted that 47% of respondents working in the sector reported backache in the past 12 months.

To keep MSD high on the European and national agenda, coordinated responses from social partners are needed that are also in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the EU’s Framework Directive on OSH and the EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work.
Next to becoming official campaign partners, we set out to:
1.) Update the existing HOSPEEM-EPSU Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (2010);
2.) Continue the discussion among European social partners to exchange good practices and strategies in the field of MSD;
3.) Continue to exchange on the relevance of the current regulatory framework on MSD at European level.

Throughout the years, HOSPEEM and EPSU have considered MSD of great importance in the health sector, e.g. by carrying out a project on MSDs and psycho-social risks and stress at work. The cooperation of employers and trade unions is fundamental in successfully managing and preventing MSDs.

Download the Press Release

HOSPEEM-EPSU position on the European Commission study supporting the assessment of different options concerning the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products

Brussels, 24/09/2020

Every year more than 12.7 million healthcare workers in Europe, including 7.3 million nurses, are potentially exposed to carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic hazardous drugs. Studies show that hospital workers who handle cytotoxic drugs are three times more likely to develop malignancy and that nurses exposed to cytotoxic drugs are twice as likely to miscarry. The health hazard for handling these drugs is a significant concern as they are not only classified as potentially carcinogenic but also mutagenic (mutating genetic material) and reprotoxic (interfering with reproduction).

For HOSPEEM, it is particularly important to address handling techniques of hazardous medicinal products that are in line with national legislative specificities. While hospitals and healthcare employers are required to undertake risk assessments, it is clear that for example replacement of hazardous medicinal products is not an option for most cases, as patients still need these products for cancer and other treatments. Therefore, the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive need to clarify the terminology “technically possible” as stipulated in Article 5 (2, 3) “employers shall ensure that the carcinogen or mutagen is, in so far as is technically possible, manufactured and used in a closed system. Where a closed system is not technically possible, the employer shall ensure that the level of exposure of workers is reduced to as low a level as is technically possible.”

HOSPEEM and EPSU call the European Commission to include in its CMD4 report or accept parliamentary amendments for the revision of the CMD in 2020-2021 that include hazardous drugs, including cytotoxic drugs, as a category in Appendix I. Healthcare workers and patients deserve to be protected by legislation now through measures that are legally binding for all the actors in healthcare, with the best possible systems of work, technology as well as education and training to avoid the risk of toxic and genetic damage and associated diseases resulting from exposure to hazardous drugs.

FULL TEXT:

HOSPEEM-EPSU position on the European Commission study supporting the assessment of different options concerning the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous medicinal products

HOSPEEM July newsletter is published

In this July 2020 edition, you will find the Joint Statement on the 10th anniversary of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work as well as the latest COVID-19 related news. This newsletter includes also other relevant news,  Member’s news, EU news, events and publications for hospital employers.

27 July 2020 HOSPEEM Newsletter 2020 – Issue 3

Zorgnet-Icuro joins HOSPEEM

Zorgnet-Icuro has recently joined HOSPEEM as an observer member.

Zorgnet Icuro is the employers’ association in Belgium representing the Flemish network of care organisations. The organisation aims to defend shared interests and represent them at Flemish, national and international level. The network also promotes knowledge and expertise sharing. More than 775 recognized care organizations are members such as general and acute hospitals, university hospitals, mental health services and facilities for elderly care, in particular residential care centers.

Joint Statement on the 10th anniversary of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work

Brussels, 16 July 2020

A decade ago, the European Sectoral Social Partners, EPSU, UNI EUROPA, ETUCE, HOSPEEM, CEMR, EFEE, EuroCommerce, CoESS identified third-party violence and harassment at the workplace as one of the key health and safety challenges to face within the European Economic Area and signed the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence (TPV) and harassment related to work. In 2018, EUPAE and TUNED joined these organisations in their work to tackle this pressing issue.

To this date, the Guidelines remain the only instrument signed by multiple European sectoral Social Dialogue Committees and are considered one of the significant achievements of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue.

Today, the Guidelines’ signatories reaffirm that their respective sectors continue to address third-party violence and all forms of harassment related to work, ensuring that, in the upcoming years, each workplace has a targeted results-oriented policy, also in the context of initiatives of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Download the Joint statement

HOSPEEM April newsletter is published

In this April 2020 edition, you will find the HOSPEEM statement on the COVID-19 outbreak and on the CEEP launch of the EU platform “SGIs facing COVID-19” as well as information on the latest HOSPEEM General Assembly, and HOSPEEM-EPSU Social Dialogue meeting and project.

This newsletter includes also other relevant news, EU news, events and publications for hospital employers.

HOSPEEM Newsletter 2020– Issue 2 (29 April 2020)

HOSPEEM Statement on COVID-19 outbreak

The impact on the health services and the need to support joint measures across Europe

The European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association’s thoughts are with the millions of health professional and health workers across Europe and others globally that, under these exceptional circumstances daily provide services to take care of patients at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, while national governments are taking different levels of confinement and containment measures.

Like in no other sector, the COVID-19 pandemic has a tremendous impact on the provision of health services and care, experienced in hospitals and healthcare facilities around the globe, and particularly in Europe. This is adding to the already existing strains of the healthcare system such as recruitment and retention, the ageing and health and safety at the workplace.

Employers in the health sector are facing exceptional challenges that can only be tackled by joint initiatives from social partners, Member States’ governments, and the European institutions. Furthermore, the sector welcomes the potential opportunities and lessons learned as a result of the global pandemic.

Among others, HOSPEEM welcomes the statement of the Members of the European Council2, which “commend[s] the dedication and tireless efforts of the healthcare professionals” and ”the adoption of the decision on the authorisation for export of personal protective equipment” as well as “to increase testing capacities”.

We are standing with our European cross-sectoral social partners’ organisation CEEP, which, together with fellow European sectoral social partner organisations, set up the “SGIs facing COVID-19” Platform3 to help facilitate and share practices between European and national social partners in the public services sector.

Following the measures taken by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the Members of the European Council, HOSPEEM stresses the importance of:

  • The availability of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and other medical equipment such as ventilators and testing supplies;
  • The availability of adequately trained staff which is essential to providing appropriate care under extreme circumstances such as that of COVID-19;
  • The availability and development of crash courses for staff working in ICU’s in the COVID-19 context as already launched by the World Health Organization;
  • Exchange of practices and information between national governments and national social partners regarding measures that have been both successful and those that show limited benefits;
  • Organizing the health assistance to provide appropriate care to the people affected by pre-existing health conditions requiring chronic or acute treatment

Looking ahead HOSPEEM would like to echo the statement made by the European Council that we must “reflect on the resilience of our societies”, among others the resilience of services of general interest. In times like these, it becomes evident that investments in healthcare need to be further strengthened to withstand similar potential public health emergencies. HOSPEEM is concerned with the structural long-term effect on the healthcare system and its labour market.

At the moment Member States’ economies are under enormous pressure to perform. Already now, many countries are preparing for financial restructuring to recover from the economic losses caused by the virus and to adjust national budgets towards the different sectors. Even if the current measures as foreseen by the European institutions such as investing in European Member States’ healthcare system are well intended, it is of vital importance that these investments remain in the long-term to indeed sustain a resilient healthcare system and society as a whole, considering to include health prevention activities within the objectives of these investments.

References

  1. Eurostat. European Union Labour Force Survey.
  2. European Council. Joint statement of the Members of the European Council. (2020).
  3. CEEP. Services of General Interest facing COVID-19. https://www.ceep.eu/sgis-facing-covid-19 (2020).

Download the HOSPEEM statement on COVID-19 outbreak

The year 2019 at a glance: HOSPEEM Activity report

The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2019 is published. This activity report presents key information on HOSPEEM and the main activities carried out during the year.

2019 has been a year rich in achievements for HOSPEEM ensuring that the views of hospital and healthcare employers are being heard at the highest level.

Firstly, the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on “Strengthening Social Dialogue in the hospital sector in the East, South and Central Europe” has successfully started with regional workshops taking place in Bucharest in June 2019 and in Rome in November 2019.

Secondly, several HOSPEEM experts and representatives shared their knowledge across Europe joining their efforts to actively represent members’ views in the European arena.

Thirdly, a new work programme 2020-2022 for the European sectoral social dialogue was successfully adopted.

Download the report

HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Work Programme 2020-2022 for the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector

At the last meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC-HS) in 2019, HOSPEEM and EPSU reached a final agreement of the Joint Work-Programme 2020-2022. It is structured around four major thematic priorities, i.e Occupational Safety and health, recruitment and retention of the health workforce,  Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning, European/ EU-level healthcare policy. Each sub-theme is presented with specific objectives, deliverables and a timeline.

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the Joint Work Programme – EN

PDF - 304.4 koDownload the Joint Work Programme – streamlined version – EN

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector: Main activities and outcomes in 2019

In this document you can find the highlights of the work of the HOSPEEM-EPSU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector. In 2019 the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector  dealt with a wide range of topics in the framework of the EPSU-HOSPEEM Joint Work Programme and carried out project-related activities.

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