Social Partners in hospital and healthcare sign framework for the future of the sector

PRESS RELEASE

Brussels, 1st June 2022

Yesterday, the EU sectoral social partners in the hospital and healthcare sector, the European Public Services Union (EPSU) and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association (HOSPEEM), signed the updated Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention (FoA R&R).

The original text was over a decade old; the revised text now better reflects the changes Europe’s health services have undergone in recent years.

Marta Branca, Secretary General of HOSPEEM, says: “Health staff shortages continue to be an issue for the hospital and healthcare sector across Europe. With the updated Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention, we social partners re-commit to initiatives that can strengthen the resilience of the health workforce.”

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU, says: “The COVID-19 pandemic shows the importance of adequate workforce levels and protection from Psychosocial Risks at work. In the updated Framework of Actions, we underline that!  Forus workforce planning mechanisms must take present and future needs into account to ensure that an adequate number of staff with the requisite skills are available in the right place at the right time.

The updated FoA includes aspects related to COVID-19, work-life balance, gender equality and digitalisation, focusing on the increasing Occupational Health and Safety issues which are important for health workers. These include psycho-social risks and stress, carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxic substances (Hazardous Medicinal Products), musculoskeletal diseases and thirdparty violence.

Social partners are calling to urgently strengthen public health services in order to adequately deliver quality care, ensure equal access and make these services more resilient towards future health emergencies.

They also call on Member States and the European Commission to support social partners in  sectoral social dialogue and  collective bargaining processes, in particular in Southern and Eastern Europe, within the framework of the ongoing Social Dialogue review process of the European Commission.

The updated text stresses social partners’ commitment to strengthen the attractiveness of the sector and to support a rights-based approach for recruiting migrant workers.

It also includes references to existing initiatives for retention, e.g., an active ageing policy and addressing occupational safety and health risk factors together. The signatories also emphasise that social partners must be involved in workforce planning (worker’s needs, skills needs and skills mix) on all levels. The new framework of actions promotes diversity and gender equality in the workforce to reflect the diversity of the society it cares for.

For more information contact:  Leonie Martin, HOSPEEM or Pablo Sanchez, EPSU 

Notes to editors:

About the Framework on Actions on Recruitment and Retention

The initial Framework of Actions was adopted on 17 December 2010. Following a first implementation report in 2016, social partners have been negotiating an updated version between 2021 and 2022. The actions include supporting the recruitment and retention of workers in the hospital sector, improving work organization, developing, and implementing workforce planning mechanism, encouraging diversity and gender equality, continuous professional development for all workers in the sector, and achieving the safest possible working environment.

HOSPEEM and EPSU participate in the European Social Dialogue as the recognised European Social Partners in the Hospital and Healthcare Sector since 2006. A range of joint documents (declarations, code of conduct, framework of actions, framework agreements) have been adopted and multiple projects and activities have been successfully completed ever since.

European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association https://hospeem.org/

European Federation of Public Service Unions www.epsu.org

Press Release in .pdf

*** EPSU also have published an article ***

HOSPEEM March Newsletter is published

In this March 2022 Newsletter edition, you will find

This newsletter also includes news from our Members in the U.K., Czech Republic and Italy as well as EU news, events and publications relevant for hospital employers.

HOSPEEM-EPSU Solidarity message with Ukraine employers and trade unions

               

Brussels, 11.03.2022

The social partners involved in the European sectoral social dialogue – Hospital and Healthcare, HOSPEEM and EPSU, strongly deplore and condemn the unprovoked attack of the Russian government on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Furthermore, we are horrified by the reported attack on a maternity and children hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine on March 9. As of March 10, the WHO has confirmed 25 other attacks¹.  Attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure such as hospitals must stop immediately. Furthermore, we are calling on all to respect and protect in all circumstances health facilities, civilian and military medical units in line with International Humanitarian Law. Reiterating the words of the WHO, the social partners stress that health providers must be protected so they are allowed to treat the injured, and to save lives. We express our solidarity with fellow employers, trade unions and workers in the hospital and healthcare sector, who continue to provide medical care to people in Ukraine in the direst circumstances. Our member organisations across Europe are collecting medical equipment and similar resources to support healthcare provision.

¹ https://twitter.com/WHOUkraine/status/1501975933841920011

***

Лист солідарності з роботодавцями та профспілками України

 Соціальні партнери, які беруть участь у європейському секторальному соціальному діалозі – Hospital and Healthcare, HOSPEEM і EPSU, висловлюють скорботу і рішуче засуджують безпричинний напад російського уряду на територіальну цілісність України. Крім того, ми в жаху від повідомлення про напад на родинний будинок і на дитячу лікарню в Маріуполі 9 березня. Станом на 10 березня ВООЗ підтвердила ще 25 нападів. Напади на цивільне населення та цивільну інфраструктуру, такі як лікарні, повинні негайно припинитися. Крім того, ми закликаємо всіх поважати і захищати за  будь-яких обставин медичні установи, цивільні та військові медичні формування відповідно до міжнародного гуманітарного права. Повторюючи слова ВООЗ, соціальні партнери підкреслюють, що медичні працівники повинні бути захищені, щоб вони могли лікувати поранених і рятувати життя. Ми висловлюємо солідарність з іншими роботодавцями, профспілками та працівниками лікарень та усіх закладів охорони здоров’я, які продовжують надавати медичну допомогу людям в Україні в складних умовах. Наші організації-члени по всій Європі збирають медичне обладнання та аналогічні ресурси для підтримки надання медичної допомоги.

EPSU also published this message.

Dissemination Workshop

The Dissemination Workshop of the HOSPEEMEPSU joint project “Strengthening Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector in the East, South and Central Europe”, took place on 16 June 2021 online.  The workshop was organised by HOSPEEM. #EUSocDia

Agenda

Presentations

Presentation and objectives of the project, Adam Rogalewski (EPSU)

Activities of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector, Simone Mohrs (HOSPEEM)

Presentation on the involvement of national sectoral social partners in the European Semester, Ricardo Rodriguez Contreras (Eurofound)

Presentation of the final project report, Barbora Holubová (Central European Labour Studies Institute)

Next steps and dissemination of project results (HOSPEEM)

Report in 13 languages:

Final report ENBGCZELESHRHUITPLPTROSISK in PDF

Graphics 

Graphics: view Gallery or download in PDF

General

Strengthening Social Dialogue project description (2019-2020)
European Sectoral Social Dialogue activities overview (2006-2019)

Workshop 1: Eastern Europe, Bucharest, Romania (14.06.2019)
Workshop 2: Southern Europe, Rome, Italy (15.11.2019)
Workshop 3: Central Europe, Zagreb, Croatia (Online) (20.04.2021)

***This workshop was originally planned in Brussels in 2020. Due to exceptional circumstances, the workshop takes place online on 16 June 2021***

EPSU has also published a webpage on this topic.

***Back to main project page***

This project has received financial support from the European Union

Regional Workshop 3: Central Europe

The third Regional Workshop of the HOSPEEMEPSU joint project “Strengthening Social Dialogue in the Hospital Sector in the East, South and Central Europe” took place online on 20 April 2021. The workshop was organised by HSSMS-MT (EPSU affiliate, Croatia) and co-organised by EPSU.

The geographical focus of this third workshop is on Central Europe, specifically targeted at Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia. Simultaneous interpretation was provided from and into English, Croatian, Czech and Slovenian.

Agenda

Draft agenda, as of 17.03.2021

Presentations (as of 22.04.2021)

Project presentation, Adam Rogalewski (European Federation of Public Service Unions-EPSU)
Social dialogue at EU level, Jan Behrens (European Commission-EC)
Activities of the hospital sector, Simone Mohrs, (European Hospital and Healthcare Employers’ Association-HOSPEEM)
Survey findings for Czechia and Slovakia, Marta Kahancová, (Central European Labour Studies Institute-CELSI)
Survey findings for Croatia and Slovenia, Barbora Holubová, (Central European Labour Studies Institute-CELSI)
Panel and open discussion and exchange on challenges faced by social partners with contributions from: Marijana Filipić (Croatian Employers’ Association), Jiří Horecký (Union of Employers of Czech Republic), Anica Prašnjak (Croatian Trade Union of Nurses and Medical Technicians), Ivana Břeňková (Trade union of health and social care, Czech Republic), Anton Szalay (Slovak Trade Union of Health and Social Services)

Report and factsheets (coming soon)

Report

Fact Sheet Croatia EN HR
Fact Sheet Czechia EN CZ
Fact Sheet Slovakia EN SK
Fact Sheet Slovenia EN SI

Graphics 

Graphics: view Gallery or download in PDF

General

Workshop 1: Eastern Europe, Bucharest, Romania (14.06.2019)
Workshop 2: Southern Europe, Rome, Italy (15.11.2019)
Strengthening Social Dialogue project description (2019-2021)
European Sectoral Social Dialogue activities overview (2006-2019)

***This workshop was originally planned in Zagreb on 15 May 2020. Due to exceptional circumstances, the workshop took place online on 20 April 2021***

#EUSocDia

EPSU has also published a webpage on this topic.

***Back to main project page***

This project has received financial support from the European Union

The year 2020 at a glance : HOSPEEM Activity report

2020 has been an eventful year ensuring that the views of hospital and healthcare employers are being heard at the highest level. The HOSPEEM Activity Report 2020 is published and presents the main activities carried out during the year (page 3,4,5) as well as relevant information on the structure and membership of HOSPEEM.

Firstly, HOSPEEM published a collection of challenges and lessons learnt in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, providing a first insight into hospital and healthcare employers’ experiences. HOSPEEM believes that long-term investments are of vital importance to sustaining a resilient healthcare system and society as a whole.

Secondly, the Eurofound representativeness study for the Hospital Sector was published, confirming that HOSPEEM remains the most representative hospital employer association on the EU level. HOSPEEM called for political support from European institutions to strengthen capacity building of sectoral social partners to be represented in the European sectoral social dialogue.

Thirdly, HOSPEEM and the signatories of the Multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence (TPV) and harassment related to work published a statement on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the guidelines in 2020.

Download the report 2020

Marta Branca speaking at the EESC Hearing on the European Health Union

On Monday, 29th March, HOSPEEM Secretary General, Marta Branca delivered the following remarks to a European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) public hearing on ‘building a European Health Union’.

To fully profit from the European Health Union’s undertaking and take care of those who take care of us, we have to generate dialogue between all stakeholders’ levels. Therefore, we highly appreciate the representation of social partners and civil society organisations, professional representation, and representatives from the Committee of the Regions.

Additionally, as representatives of national employers’ organisations, we are looking forward to providing and exchanging our expertise and practices to harness the European project’s full potential.

Looking at the European Commission proposal, we are confident that the EHU will help in four areas, by:

  1. Creating shared governance, including coordination among governments and key stakeholders, such as social partners;
  2. Building a responsive culture to a crisis, where information is circulated timely and avoiding misinformation;
  3. Ensuring sufficient monetary resources in the system and flexibility to reallocate and inject extra funds to respond to the crisis. Investment in health is never a cost.
  4. Allocate appropriate level and distribution of human and physical resources, including personal protective equipment.

 In the future, HOSPEEM is interested in receiving more information on the conducting the so-called “stress test” and the auditing process, including which indicators would be used.

 While the health system’s stress test outcome might reveal significant shortages, the actors present with me at this panel have known them for decades. Hopefully, it will be a wake-up call for the Member States to acknowledge the sector as an investment rather than expenditure that has to be cut by reforms and austerity measures.

 As we all know by now, a country’s economy is only as healthy as its population contributing to it. Suppose that Member States start to invest in all building blocks of the health system, a direct effect will be a healthier population resulting in an increased and meaningful contribution to the economy.

 Let me come back to the stress tests. We are convinced that to maximise the full potential of a stress test in the health sector, it needs to be designed and implemented in cooperation with independent key players from the health systems. I should not compromise the autonomy of the Member States and national social partners regarding Art. 154 and 168 (7) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union.

 To audit the stress test as laid out by the European Commission, we are looking forward to receiving more information concerning their transparency and planning to involve healthcare stakeholders and social partners.

 Turning now to the report of rapporteur Vardakastanis: Please allow me to elaborate on three elements that we consider important to highlight in this discussion:

  1. Indeed, the European Health Union’s rollout needs to connect with the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan implementation. The Plan foresees the proposal of new tools to measure the barriers and gaps in healthcare access. Member States are encouraged to boost the digitalisation of the health systems and to tackle health inequality while also being encouraged to invest in the health and care workforce, improving their working conditions and access to training.
  2. We certainly need to shift our thinking about healthcare. While the points outlined by the rapporteur are very true, we would like to see the reference to service provision, digital transformation and occupational safety and health measures.
  3. Regarding the principle of subsidiarity in healthcare services, which according to the rapporteur should be revised and reformed, HOSPEEM would like to reiterate that the health system’s management, including the health workforce, needs to remain a Member State competence. Diversity exists in the organisation of national health systems that are largely linked to historical developments and cultures. For these reasons, we encourage the Members States to work together with the social partners and the European institutions, particularly the European Commission, to exchange practices and work together in solidarity

Link to the full speech

Link to EESC website

HOSPEEM January newsletter is published

In this January Newsletter edition, you find a collection of challenges and lessons learnt in light of the COVID-19 outbreak by hospital and healthcare employers  well as a call for political support from European institutions to strengthen capacity building of sectoral social partners to be represented in the European sectoral social dialogue in the light of the recent publication of the Eurofound representativeness study for the Hospital Sector.

This newsletter also includes news from our Members in the U.K. and in the Netherlands, EU news, events and publications relevant for hospital employers.

15 January 2021: HOSPEEM Newsletter 2021 – Issue 1

HOSPEEM’s summary on European Commission Expert Panel Opinion on Effective Ways of Investing in Health on the organisation of resilient health and social care following the COVID-19 pandemic

Following the publication of the Expert Panel’s opinion on Effective Ways of Investing in Health on the organisation of resilient health and social care following the COVID-19 pandemic, HOSPEEM drafted a summary focusing on the health workforce.

About the opinion

The opinion identifies the building blocks of resilient health and social care, explores the elements and conditions for capacity building to strengthen health system resilience, addresses healthcare needs of vulnerable patients at times of crisis, and defines a blueprint for health systems’ resilience testing.

Download the HOSPEEM summary

Download the European Commission Expert Panel’s opinion

Download the European Commission fact sheet

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector: Main activities and outcomes in 2020

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 2020 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.

Download the document