2022 has been a year rich in achievements and fruitful exchanges for HOSPEEM. The HOSPEEM EPSU Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention was revised. Social partners signed the updated framework, re-commiting to initiatives that can strengthen the resilience of the health workforce.
Several HOSPEEM representatives shared their expertise by actively representing members’ views. For example, the Joint HOSPEEM-EPSU Technical Seminar the Digital Health Transformation of Integrated Care in Europe in November 2022 welcomed presentations from employers in Belgium, Czech Republic and Cyprus.
HOSPEEM spoke at various EU fora, for instance, at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). HOSPEEM has also been selected for one of the two new bodies that advises the European Commission Service, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA).
This report presents key information on HOSPEEM and the Social Dialogue activities carried out during 2022.
On 7 December 2022, HOSPEEM Secretary General, Marta BRANCA delivered comprehensive remarks to a European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) public hearing on “The European Care Strategy: challenges and the way forward”.
“Longterm care is important to the smooth-running of the hospital sector. Different challenges await but funding and social dialogue are important everywhere” stated Marta Branca.
After the European Commission published a proposal for a European Care Strategy on 08 September 2022, the Council adopted the Care Strategy on 08 December 2022. It consists of a communication, accompanied by (1) a proposal for a Council Recommendation on long-term care as well (2) a proposal for a Council Recommendation to revise the Barcelona targets. The Council recommendation focuses on access to affordable high-quality long-term care and asks Member States to improve adequacy of social protection, increase and develop quality long term care services, ensure fair working conditions, and strengthen professional standards addressing the challenges of skills needs and occupational health and safety. Member States are recommended to communicate to the European Commission a set of measures taken or planned to implement within 18 months of adoption.
On February 3, 2022, EPSU and HOSPEEM jointly organised an online informative session on the European Health Data Space (EHDS), with the purpose of providing a space for the exchange of information between the European Commission (EC) and social partners in the healthcare sector. The aim of the meeting was to give the EC the platform to introduce the topic and discuss what implications the EHDS will have for health workers and the health sector.
The session started with a brief introduction by Jan-Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary, who welcomed expert Barbara Susec from ver.di, experts from HOSPEEM. and Hugo van Haastert, of DG Sante. (Unit B.3, European Reference Networks and Digital Health). He presented the initiative and stressed that the framework of the EHDS should serve the public and strengthen the quality of care.
Hugo van Haastert also explained the legal proposal EC has been working on and provided insight into the existing European data infrastructure. He highlighted the role of the EHDS to simplify and connect primary and secondary health data to make them more accessible for workers and patients.
The presentation was followed by a discussion, in which data protection and the importance of equal access to data and digitisation, also via targeted training tools, were highlighted. Participants also emphasised that the role and involvement of health care workers within the framework of the EHDS should be more accentuated.
The session was concluded by Marta Branca, HOSPEEM General Secretary, who stressed the relevance of the informative session in the framework of the the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee and thanked the organisers and participants for their input.
The Dissemination Workshop of the HOSPEEM–EPSU 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.