Issue 2 - July 2015


Dear subscriber subscriber,

In this edition of the newsletter, you will find information about the recent HOSPEEM General Assembly and Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting, the HOSPEEM study visit to France, some major events HOSPEEM has been invited to lately, as well as news from Members and relevant EU News and publications.

Since July 1st, and for a six-month period, Luxembourg has been holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, taking over from Latvia. European social partners have high expectations towards the Luxembourg Presidency to strenghen and stimulate social dialogue and better involve social partners as this is one important priority of their programme. HOSPEEM recently had the opportunity to establish a first contact with the Luxembourg Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Economy at the occasion of the CEEP Public Services Summit.

This newsletter has been conceived as an interactive tool aimed at facilitating not only the flow of communication from the EU level, but also to support the exchange of information between our members, as well as for giving your organisation’s voice a broader diffusion across Europe. We therefore encourage you to send us your contributions to enrich the future issues.

I wish you all a pleasant summer holiday.

Enjoy your reading !

Tjitte Alkema

Secretary General of HOSPEEM



HOSPEEM Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting and General Assembly 

On 15 June 2015, HOSPEEM members participated in the meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector (SSDC HS) organised in Brussels. The meeting was dedicated mainly to the follow-up to the HOSPEEM-EPSU Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention and to the work of the joint HOSPEEM-EPSU Working Group on Life-Long Learning (LLL) and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) towards the elaboration of a joint declaration on access to LLL & CPD for all health workers in the EU. 

The HOSPEEM Steering Committee and General Assembly were held the day after, on 16 June. At this occasion, the HOSPEEM multiple membership per country plan was adopted. The discussions focused in particular on HOSPEEM achievements in the first half of 2015, on current and future priorities, on recruitment activities and on the follow-up to the conference organised in Paris on 25 March 2015 on the issue of musculoskeletal disorders in the framework of the HOSPEEM-EPSU OSH project.

The dates of future meetings are available in the events section of the HOSPEEM website. You can also find online a list of HOSPEEM representatives and HOSPEEM activity reports.

HOSPEEM Study Visit to France

HOSPEEM visited its French member’s organisation, the Federation of private not for profit healthcare institutions and care services (FEHAP) on 26 March 2015. This study visit was the opportunity for HOSPEEM and FEHAP to exchange on their current priorities and challenges and discuss some EU topics and initiatives. HOSPEEM also had the chance to meet with UNICANCER, the French Federation of Comprehensive Cancer Centers. The afternoon was dedicated to a visit of the hospital Saint Joseph, a private not for profit hospital member of FEHAP. Read more. 

HOSPEEM participation in CEEP General Assembly and Public Services Summit

At the occasion of the CEEP General Assembly that took place in Brussels on 20 May 2015, Valeria Ronzitti was reelected General Secretary of CEEP for a 3-year term. HOSPEEM Secretary General Tjitte Alkema was reelected member of the CEEP Board of Directors. 

On 20 and 21 May, CEEP organised the 2nd edition of the Public Services Summit, which brought together about 150 stakeholders, to exchange views on the topic "Reinvesting in Europe: Investing in Public Services". Tjitte Alkema was invited to intervene on investments on social infrastructures and social innovation in a panel where Mr. Nicolas Schmit, Luxembourg Minister of Labour and Employment, and Ruth Paserman, Deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Thyssen, were keynote speakers. Read more.

HOSPEEM in the Expert Group on EU Health workforce

DG SANTE organised a meeting of the Expert Group on European Health Workforce on 17 June in Brussels. Most of the meeting was dedicated to the presentation of the findings and recommendations of the European Commission study on the Recruitment and Retention of Health Workforce in Europe. At this occasion, Tjitte Alkema, HOSPEEM Secretary General, and Mathias Maucher, EPSU Secretariat, were invited to present the work jointly carried out by HOSPEEM and EPSU on these issues and more particularly some highlights of the follow-up report to the Framework of Actions on Recruitment and Retention. Moreover, the results of the survey of the European Commission on continuous professional development of health professionals were presented and the Joint Action team reported on some noticeable progress and key deliverables available. Read more.

European Commission seminar on the recognition of qualifications

Several European Commission services, including DG GROW, DG EMPL, DG SANTE, DG HOME and DG EAC, jointly organised a seminar on the recognition and portability of qualifications on 30 June in Brussels. The aim of this event was to take stock of the different existing EU tools and initiatives in this field and see how they interact. The seminar covered academic recognition, recognition of professional qualifications within the EU and recognition of qualifications acquired in third countries.

Kate Ling (NHS) was invited to make a presentation on behalf of HOSPEEM on the perspective of hospital employers on the recognition of professional qualifications under the EU Professional Qualifications Directive. She focused on the main achievements and the major pitfalls and issues of concern for hospital employers. The outcome of this seminar will feed into the Commission’s work on the European Skills Agenda.

HOSPEEM interviewed by the European Trade Union Institute 

On 11 March, Tjitte Alkema was interviewed by Denis Grégoire, journalist at the European Trade Union Institute. The questions focused mainly on the framework agreement on sharp injuries, on occupational risks, on ageing workforce and on recruitment and retention of the health workforce. Read the full interview.



Member's profile: NFU

The Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres - NFU (Nederlandse Federatie van Universitair Medische Centra) is the Dutch observer member of HOSPEEM. NFU represents the eight University Medical Centers (UMCs) in the Netherlands that employs around 65 000 people. The organisation aims to promote the centers’ shared interests, represent them and reinforce their position through cooperation in areas such as finance, working conditions, politics, research, teaching and patient care.The NFU was founded in 2004 as a spin-off from the University Hospitals Association (Vereniging Academische Ziekenhuizen - VAZ), which was established in 1989. The objective has remained the same: ensure that agencies that decide healthcare issues in the Netherlands take into account the special role of the UMCs. Read more.

Healthcare Waste Management project (EU-HCWM) 

NHS, the HOSPEEM UK member, is participating in a project developing an EU Standardised Approach to Vocational Qualifications in Healthcare Waste Management (EU-HCWM).The project aims to provide a unified approach to the development of National Occupational Standards and Vocational Educational Training (VET) Programmes for Healthcare Waste Management across the EU Member States. Read the latest EU-HCWM newsletter.



EU cross-industry social partners 2015-2017 Work Programme

On 5 May, after six months of negotiations, the EU cross-industry social partners agreed on a new work programme "A partnership for inclusive Growth and Employment" for the period 2015-2017. The main actions foreseen under this work programme are the following:

• Negotiation of an autonomous framework agreement on active ageing  

• Activities on reconciliation of work, private and family life and gender equality to reduce the gender pay gap, with the aim of adopting joint conclusions and possible recommendations

• Contribution to the Commission mobility package

• Activities on fostering apprenticeships to increase youth employment

• Exchanges on skills need in digital economies in view of promoting mutual learning

The final text was approved by the CEEP General Assembly on 20 May 2015. Read the full work programme.

European Commission "Better Regulation Package" 

The European Commission presented its "Better Regulation Package" on 19 May, one of its top priorities. With this package, the Commission intends to boost openness and transparency of the EU decision-making process and therefore improve the quality of the European legislation. The underlying aim of this initiative is to restore citizens' confidence in the EU. 

The new principles of 'better regulation' outlined by the Commission will apply both to the existing and future legislation. From now on, new legislations will be more systematically submitted to public stakeholders’ consultations throughout the policy cycle. Moreover, external scrutiny of the EU legislation will increase and the approach on REFIT will be strenghtened.

The issue of representativity of social partners becomes even more prominent against the backdrop of the "Better Regulation Package". Read key documents.

First stage consultation of EU social partners on information and consultation of workers

In April, the European Commission started a consultation with EU level social partners in order to get their views on a possible consolidation of the existing EU legislation on worker information and consultation at national level, namely three Directives respectively on collective redundanciestransfers of undertakings and a general framework for information and consultation of workers. CEEP contributed to the consultation at the end of June. Read more. 

Consultation meetings on Long-term unemployment and Labour mobility

As a follow-up to the high level conference of 5 March 2015 on “A new start for Social Dialogue” and in view of creating a new form of consultation of EU Social Partners, the European Commission recently held consultation meetings in Brussels. A first one was held on service provision to long-term unemployed on 24 April, against the backdrop of a public consultation on tackling long-term unemployment and in preparation for a Council Recommendation on this issue. A second consultation workshop took place on 10 June on the future labour mobility package. The meeting focused on the possible revision of the EU social security coordination Regulations and the possible targeted review of the Posting of Workers Directive.

Boosting the European Alliance for Apprenticeships

On 22 June 2015, the European Commission and the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU jointly organised in Riga a high level event aimed at giving a new boost to the European Alliance for Apprenticeships (EAfA) and mobilising new key stakeholders, after two years of existence. Jevgenijs Kalejs from the Latvian Hospitals Association participated in the conference on behalf of HOSPEEM. Several new countries and organisations joined the Alliance during the meeting, among which some European sectoral social partners. At this occasion, the new Alliance website was presented as well as the Drop'pin website, aggregating concrete apprenticeship and training offers.

EU Health programme - Adoption of the 2015 annual work plan

On 2 June, the European Commission adopted its annual work plan for 2015 in the framework of the EU Health programme 2014-2020. This work plan sets out the priorities and actions to be undertaken in 2015 as well as the allocation of resources to implement the EU Health Programme. Read more.

Evaluative study and Eurobarometer survey on cross-border healthcare

An evaluative study on the Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare was recently submitted by the Commission to the Eurppean Parliament and to the Council, in accordance with article 20 of the Directive. This study was carried out in the 28 EU Member States with the aim of gathering reliable and comparable information on the overall operation of the Directive in the first years of its implementation. This study is conceived as a starting point to evaluate the evolution of the Directive in the future. An important finding is that the number of patients that made use of cross-border healthcare under this Directive is still very low. The study underlines that demand for cross-border healthcare would be larger should the patients be made aware of the possibilities offered and thus stresses the need to facilitate provision of additional information to citizens. Read more.

In parallel, a new Eurobarometer survey on patients' rights in cross-border healthcare was published in May as a follow-up to a similar survey conducted in 2007. The aim of this new survey was to assess the situation of cross-border healthcare after the enforcement of the directive and was primarily designed to find out how many people had received healthcare outside their country of residence over the last year, how aware EU citizens were of the possibilities for receiving healthcare abroad, and how willing they would be to receive medical treatment abroad and under what circumstances. It is interesting to note that only 5% of the respondents experienced medical treatment in another EU country in the last year, an increase of just 1 percentage point since 2007. Read the survey.

Competition among health care providers - Final opinion adopted

The independent Expert Panel, which gives non-binding advice to the European Commission on matters related to effective ways of investing in health, adopted a final opinion on “Competition among health care providers" on 12 June 2015 following a public consultation on the preliminary opinion. The Expert Panel addressed the role of competition among health care providers within Member States as an instrument to improve efficiency in the use of health system resources and explored the policy options for integrating such competition into health systems. Read the final opinion.

Effective use of European Structural and Investment Funds for health investments 

A new tool to support Member States in using European Structural and Investment Funds for effective health investments has recently been launched in a framework of an EU-funded project managed by the Consumers, Health and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) of the European Commission. The online platform set up aims to provide assistance to EU Member States in the programming period 2014-2020 and thus promote an effective implementation of actions in the health sector which will have a positive impact on the populations’ health and access to quality, affordable and sustainable health care in all EU Member States. Read more.



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

09/11/2015 : HOSPEEM Steering Committee

10/11/2015 : Conference on psycho-social risks and stress at work, OSH Project, Helsinki

09/12/2015 : HOSPEEM Administration Council/General Assembly/Steering Committee

10/12/2015:  HOSPEEM – EPSU SSDC HS* Plenary meeting 2015, Brussels

* SSDC HS: Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector

Other events:

03-04/11/2015: EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Summit 2015, Bilbao

24/11/2015: Eurofound High-level conference with the EU Presidency of Luxembourg, Luxembourg - Changing working conditions - What can we learn and improve ?



European Commission study on Recruitment and Retention of Health Workforce in Europe

On 6 July, the European Commission published the final report of the study of DG SANTE on recruitment and retention of health workforce in Europe. HOSPEEM and EPSU provided a social partner-based input into the study. It identifies and analyses effective strategies for recruiting and retaining health professionals and aims to serve as a source of inspiration for the development of organisational strategies and human resources policies in Europe. Read the full study.

Joint Action on Health Workforce - Report on the applicability of the WHO Code of Practice in Europe

The Executive Board of the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting has recently approved and made available the Report on the Applicability of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Professionals in a European Union Context. The report, exploring the possibility of applying the WHO Code in the specific context of the Single Market, aims at initiating a dialogue and supporting further discussions on this issue. Read the full report.

Eurofound report on the opt-out of the working weekly limit

At the request of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Eurofound has published a report on opting out from the weekly working limit of 48 hours of the Working Time Directive, option provided by article 22(1) of the Directive 2003/88/EC. The report looks at how Member States make use of the working time opt-out, how widely it is used and what its impacts are on workers and employers. Read more.

Eurofound launches the sixth edition of its survey assessing working conditions across Europe

In early 2015 Eurofound launched the fieldwork for the 6th European Working Conditions Survey (6th EWCS). Based on interviews with over 43 000 workers, this research provides valuable comparative information about working conditions, including issues such as working time, health and safety at work, work organisation, work-life balance, training and overall satisfaction with working conditions. The first findings of the 6th EWCS will be presented at the end of 2015. Read more

EU-OSHA European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-2) 

EU-OSHA recently presented at the European Parliament the main findings of its Second European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-2), extensive survey looking at how safety and health risks are managed in European workplaces. On the basis of the responses collected from almost 50 000 workplaces in 36 countries, the survey concludes that risk factors linked to psychosocial risks and musculoskeletal disorders are the most widespread in Europe’s workplaces and that risk assessment is still considered the best way of tackling them. Read the summary report. 

EU Employment and Social Situation - Quarterly Review

The latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review published by DG EMPL in March highlights significant positive trends, such as the continuous fall in unemployment, the increase in permanent and full-time contracts, the decline in youth unemployment and also — for the first time since the onset of the crisis — the decline in long-term unemployment. However, considerable challenges remain, with levels of unemployment still high, and significant differences across Member States. Read the Quaterly Review.