Issue 5 - December 2014


Dear subscriber subscriber,

2014 has been a very successful year for HOSPEEM with a number of achievements: a new work programme, a new project on occupational health and safety (OSH), the installation of working groups, the promotion of a higher profile with EU DG's, the participation in several research initiatives and events initiated by EC on OSH, Working Time, continuous professional development (CPD). In addition at HOSPEEM a new system of communication correspondents has been created, the website was updated and the HOSPEEM study visit program has started successfully. 

The Autumn has brought some changes at HOSPEEM with the farewell to Elisa Benedetti, Policy Officer and Elvira Gentile, ARAN (IT) and HOSPEEM Vice-Secretary General. HOSPEEM would like to thank both colleagues for their excellent work and their considerable commitment of time and effort over the last years. 

In December 2014 the members of the General Assembly of HOSPEEM appointed Marta Branca, ARAN (IT) in the HOSPEEM Steering committee and Bjørn Henriksen, SPEKTER (NO) as Vice-Secretary General. The term of office of the Steering Committee is until June 2016.

Emilie Sourdoire has joined the HOSPEEM Secretariat in October 2014 as Policy Officer. Emilie took over the position that has been held by Elisa Benedetti over the last 3 years. She comes from France where she studied European affairs in Lyon. She has previously worked at the Brussels' office of the French Medical Council.

In this newsletter, you can find HOSPEEM News, News from the Members, EU News, upcoming events and recent publications. This newsletter has been conceived as an interactive tool to facilitate the flow of communication from the EU level, to support the exchange of information between our members and to give your organisation’s voice a broader diffusion across Europe. Therefore you are invited to send us your contributions to future issues.

I wish you all a happy holiday season!

Tjitte Alkema

Secretary General of HOSPEEM



HOSPEEM General Assembly and Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting

On 9 December 2014, HOSPEEM members attended the HOSPEEM General Assembly in Brussels. The discussions focused mainly on the implementation of a multiple membership system per country, the introduction of a more stable financing system, on the HOSPEEM priorities for 2015, on the setting up of internal working groups, on the HOSPEEM-EPSU OSH project and on the review of the Working Time Directive. 

The Plenary meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS) took place the day after, on 10 December 2014. The meeting was dedicated mainly to the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on musculoskeletal disorders and psychosocial risks and stress at work, to the follow-up to the HOSPEEM-EPSU Framework of Actions “Recruitment and retention” and to the presentation of a DG SANCO study led by the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) on continuous professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning for health professionals in the EU. The dates of HOSPEEM and HOSPEEM-EPSU meetings for 2015 are listed in the events section on the HOSPEEM website. 

EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Campaign

HOSPEEM is now an official campaign partner of the Managing stress and psychological risks at work – Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2014-2015 of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). The Europe-wide campaign aims to raise awareness of the problem and show employers and workers that stress and psychosocial risks can be successfully managed and prevented. Read more.

HOSPEEM at the JAHWPF conference

At the occasion of the conference of the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting that took place in Rome on 4-5 December, Tjitte Alkema, HOSPEEM Secretary General, presented the perspective of HOSPEEM, as employer organisation, on the issue of health workforce employment. The conference focused mainly on the challenges for health workforce employment and on the improvement of planning methodologies with the new JAHWPF Handbook on Planning Methodologies and the Applicability of the Global Code of Practice. Read more.

Promotion of social dialogue measures for public services 

As associated partner, HOSPEEM will participate in the CEEP new project that aims to support the development of social dialogue measures and instruments across Europe. This project will support national organisations and specific sectors to be further involved within social dialogue. Read more.



Member's profile: VKA

The VKA (Vereinigung der kommunalen Arbeitgeberverbände) is the German member of HOSPEEM. It was founded in 1949 and represents employers in all sectors of public services, such as municipalities and municipal enterprises, hospitals, social care institutions, savings banks, airports, and urban transport, harbors, public utilities and waste management enterprises. VKA represents around 10,000 municipal employers with in total over two million employees.  In the health and hospital sector VKA represents all kinds of municipal hospitals as well as healthcare and social institutions employing around 460,000 workers.

Following the HOSPEEM study visit to the VKA office in October 2014, HOSPEEM would like thank Mr. Hoffmann, Mr. Reidelbach and Ms. Christ for the warm welcome and the fruitful discussions on the challenges of collective bargaining and the participation in social dialogue at EU level. Read more.

TTIP and the NHS: separating myth from fact

The HOSPEEM member NHS published a briefing entitled “The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the NHS: separating myth from fact". It presents a factual analysis of the current situation, focusing on the impact on the health service in England. It explains what TTIP is, why it is so controversial, and what the key issues are for NHS, the HOSPEEM member in the UK. Read more.



The new European Commission : who's who 

Following the approval vote of the European Parliament, the new College of commissioners led by Jean-Claude Juncker took office on 1st November 2014, for a five-year term. Valdis Dombrovskis, former Prime Minister of Latvia, has been appointed as Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue. The Belgian Marianne Thyssen, former member of the European Parliament, is the newly-appointed Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility and Vytenis Andriukaitis, former Lithuanian Minister of Health, is the new Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. Find out more about who's who in the new EC.

On 17 November 2014, Valdis Dombrovskis and Marianne Thyssen met the European social partners. At this occasion, they reaffirmed the commitment of the new EU Commission to re-launch and strengthen the EU Social Dialogue, with full respect for the autonomy of social partners. They also expressed the will of the EU Commission of an increased involvement of social partners in European governance and emphasized the importance of the expertise and strong engagement of social partners to address the challenges faced by Europe. Read more.

Public consultation on the review on the Working Time Directive

The European Commission launched on 1st December 2014 a public consultation on the review of the Working Time Directive (Directive 2003/88/EC). It aims at gathering insights and contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities through an online questionnaire in order to help the Commission in the context of the ongoing review and impact assessment of the current Directive. The consultation will run until 15 March 2015. Read more.

Juncker investment plan for Europe

On 26 November 2014, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker presented at the European Parliament his €315 billion Investment Plan for the next three years. This plan is intended to give a boost to the economy and create jobs. Healthcare, education, energy, transport and research and innovation have been identified as main priority areas for investment. In the next few weeks, the European Council and the European Parliament should endorse this Plan and decide of the setting up of a European Fund for Strategic Investments. Read more.

Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU

Latvia will hold the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1st January 2015, for a six-month period. The main presidency priorities are the EU competitiveness and growth, the EU digital agenda and the EU engagement in the world. Latvia will take over the Presidency from Italy and pass it to Luxembourg. Read more.

Patient satefy and quality of care 

The independent Expert Panel which advises the Commission on matters related to effective ways of investing in health has adopted its Opinion on Future EU Agenda on Patient Safety and Quality of Care with a special emphasis on Patient Safety. 

Besides, on 1st December 2014, the Employment, Social policy, Health and Consumer affairs Council (EPSCO) adopted conclusions on patient safety and quality of care, including the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance. European health ministers especially invite member States to promote education and training of healthcare staff on patient safety and to develop blame-free reporting by health professionals or patients of errors and adverse events.

Lessons and insights to work towards the goals of the European Employment Strategy

The Dissemination Seminar of the Mutual Learning Programme (MLP) of the EC in December 2014 has covered a range of policy areas and EU policy priorities, as well as specific national interests: youth unemployment, job incentives, making work pay, unemployment benefit systems, reforms of employment protection legislation, flexicurity and ensuring the effectiveness of active labour market policies. Read more.



SAVE the DATE ! HOSPEEM–EPSU and HOSPEEM events for members only :

06/03/2015: HOSPEEM – EPSU SSDC HS* Working Group 1/2015, Brussels

25/03/2015: First conference on musculoskeletal disorders, OSH Project, Paris

* Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Hospital Sector (SSDC HS) 

Other events:

03/2015EU Joint Action Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting 2nd Plenary Assembly, Madrid



EU-OSHA report on psychosocial risks at work

In October 2014, EU-OSHA and Eurofound jointly published the report “Psychosocial risks in Europe: Prevalence and strategies for prevention”. It presents comparative information on the prevalence of psychosocial risks among workers and explores the links between these risks and the health and well-being of workers. It also focuses on the different actions that can be adopted by establishments to tackle psychosocial risks. Read more

European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies: "Health system responses to financial pressures in Ireland"

Ireland's recent financial and economic crisis led to unprecedented reductions in levels of public spending on health. How did the Irish health system respond to the financial pressure created by the crisis? Originally commissioned by the Department of Health in Ireland, this book draws on international experience to assess and reflect on the challenges the health system has faced as a result of the crisis, to review underlying structural issues in the health sector and to identify priority areas for improving efficiency and access to health care. Read more.

EUROFOUND report on gender equality

Eurofound published a report entitled "Social partners and gender equality in Europe" in November 2014. This study investigates the various ways the European and national social partner organisations contribute to the advance of gender equality in the EU, both through the adoption of internal and external measures. The report shows significant differences between countries in the level of priority given to gender equality issues by social partners. The research also addresses the impact of the economic crisis on the actions taken by social partners in this field. Read more.

EU-OSHA report on current occupational safety and health issues

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has just published a report on current and emerging occupational safety and health (OSH) issues in the healthcare sector. It highlights the challenges facing the sector, including shortages of skilled and experienced professionals, an ageing workforce and increased use of technology requiring new skills and assesses how they affect the health and safety of healthcare workers and influence the quality of care they provide.Read more.

EU-OECD "Health at a Glance: Europe 2014" report

The new edition of “Health at a Glance: Europe”, joint publication of the European Commission and the OECD, presents the most recent data on health and health systems in 35 European countries, including the 28 European Union member States. This report highlights key trends in health status, health spending, health inequalities, health determinants and health care resources as well as quality of care and access to care. Highlights of the report are available here as well as an infograph.