Issue 3 - May 2016 


Dear subscriber subscriber,

As you will read in this newsletter, the past few months have been very active and fruitful for HOSPEEM, in particular with the study visit to our Italian member ARAN in Rome, the contribution to the Public hearing on the financing of Services of General Interest organised by the European Economic and Social Committee, the participation in the workshop of the DG SANTE study on healthcare assistants, in the CEEP project on social services and in the closing event of the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting.

We also published our 2015 Activity Report, available on the HOSPEEM Website.

The upcoming period will also be busy and promising for HOSPEEM with our General Assembly and the renewal of the composition of the HOSPEEM Bodies (the Financial Advisory Committee, the Steering Committee and the election of new Vice-Secretary Generals) as well as with the second Working Group meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector at the beginning of June.

In this issue of the newsletter, you will find HOSPEEM news, news from Members, EU news, recent publications as well as information on events attended and future events. 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.

 Enjoy your reading!

 Tjitte Alkema


Secretary General of HOSPEEM



HOSPEEM Study visit to Italy

HOSPEEM visited its Italian member organisation ARAN – Agenzia per la Rappresentanza Negoziale delle Pubbliche Amministrazioni – on 14 April in Rome. A meeting at ARAN provided the opportunity to discuss about their functioning and activities and to get an insight into the system of public bargaining in Italy. This meeting also provided the opportunity to exchange about the impact of the economic crisis on the public administration and about the most prominent challenges in Italy, such as the reform of the public administration, the reduction in public spending and the improvement of the efficiency of the public administration. HOSPEEM also had the chance to visit the Agostino Gemelli Teaching Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Italy. Read more.

Public hearing on the financing of Services of General Interest

The HOSPEEM Secretary General Tjitte Alkema was invited by the European Economic and Social Committee to participate in a public hearing on 19 April on the financing of Services of General Interest (SGIs) in the aftermath of the crisis and more specifically on health as one of the most affected SGIs. He put the emphasis in his intervention on the significant budget cuts faced by the health sector in Europe and stressed the changes occurring as a consequence of the crisis in the ways health services are provided and financed, with an increased involvement of private actors. Tjitte Alkema highlighted some new financing instruments, such as public-private partnerships (PPPs) and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Read more

HOSPEEM Activity report 2015

The HOSPEEM Secretariat recently published its 2015 Activity Report. The report contains information about the foundation of HOSPEEM, the membership structure, the organisational developments and the main activities and achievements of HOSPEEM in 2015. Read more



Publications from Swedish Member SALAR

This first publication entitled « Guidelines for improved patient safety and better work environment » aims to improve the integration of systematic patient safety activities with work environment efforts by describing and exemplifying similarities in relevant laws and regulations. There are clear similarities in areas such as requirements for annual follow-ups, conducting risk analyses and evaluations, requirements for investigating and reporting incidents and injuries, preparing action plans and adopting countermeasures. Read more.

 The second one is a comparative study of sixteen counties entitled « Healthcare-associated Infections – Success Factors for Prevention ». The study looks at counties and hospitals that report both low and high prevalence of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) in order to identify factors that may be correlated with success. The factors can provide a springboard for counties, hospitals, clinics and wards that are looking to develop action plans that will minimise the prevalence of HAI. Read more



EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2016-2017

On 15 April, EU-OSHA, together with the European Commission and the Dutch EU Council Presidency, launched its Europe-wide 2016-2017 campaign, Healthy Workplaces for All Ages. This new campaign focuses on sustainable work, workplace safety and healthy ageing from the beginning of working life and highlights the importance of risk prevention throughout the entire professional career. As for the previous EU-OSHA campaign on stress management, HOSPEEM has been granted the status of official campaign partner.Read more.

Informal EPSCO Council in Amsterdam

From 18 to 20 April, the Dutch presidency hosted an informal Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council in Amsterdam. The main items on the agenda of the meeting of the European Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs included labour mobility and posting of workers, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the platform for combating undeclared work. The EU Ministers of Health mainly discussed the accessibility and affordability of extremely expensive innovative medicines and the fight against antimicrobial resistance. These informal discussions will form the basis for the EPSCO Council that will take place on 16 and 17 June in Luxemburg.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

The ILO celebrated the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases and to raise awareness on the importance of the problem and of creating a safety and health culture to help reduce the number of work-related death and injuries. The theme of the campaign of this year was “Workplace stress: a collective challenge”. On this occasion the ILO published a report on this issue presenting recent trends in work-related stress in both developed and developing countries and providing an overview of the prevalence and impact of work-related stress in these countries. Read more.

Accelerating the health literacy agenda in Europe

On 20 April, a group of experts of the European Parliament, the European Commission, universities and local health policy makers published an article on health literacy, including digital health literacy. A general introduction on the current status of health literacy is provided, followed by two cases applying health literacy in the areas of prevention of communicable diseases and promotion of digital health. The current EU strategies integrating health literacy are listed, followed by examples of challenges threatening further development of health literacy in Europe. Recommendations as to how European stakeholders involved in research, policy, practice and education can promote health literacy are given. Read more

Commission’s strategy to create a Digital Single Market

On 19 April the European Commission presented a set of measures to support and link up national initiatives for the digitisation of industry and related services across all sectors and to boost investment through strategic partnerships and networks. The Commission also proposed concrete measures to modernise public services. On that day, the Commission adopted four Communications, including one entitled Digitising European Industry - Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market. Read more

European Patients’ Rights Day

On the occasion of the European Patients’ Rights Day celebrated on 4 May 2016 the European Commission published a factsheet highlighting 10 major benefits the EU brings to patients. The core theme of this year’s celebration was the fight against waste and inefficiency in the healthcare systems in Europe and the increase in the quality of patient care. Read more.

Mobile health assessment guidelines

To follow up on the results of the mHealth Green Paper consultation of 2014, the European Commission has been paving the way for several European initiatives in the field of mobile health, covering medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices. The Commission has recently set up a working group composed of 20 experts representing civil society, research and industry organisations to develop guidelines for assessing the validity and reliability of the data health apps collect and process. The mHealth assessment guidelines are expected to be published by the end of this year. Read more.

European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work

On 27 May, the European Commission will launch a European platform to enhance cooperation in tackling undeclared work, following the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council of 9 March 2016. The Commission had presented its proposal to set up the platform in April 2014. The platform aims at: improving the knowledge on undeclared work; providing a forum where experts can share information and best practices; exploring national and EU tools to face common problems caused by undeclared work and by bogus self-employment; exploring ways to improve data exchanges between national administrations; strengthening cross-border cooperation such as staff exchanges and joint inspections; developing common principles and guidelines for inspections to tackle undeclared work and organise joint training sessions; increasing awareness of the problem through common activities such as European campaigns and adopting regional or EU-wide strategies. Read more.

Final opinion on disruptive innovation

The Commission’s independent expert panel on effective ways of investing in health recently adopted its final opinion on the implications of disruptive innovation for health and healthcare in Europe. The opinion finds that disruptive innovation can be an important mechanism for improving health and healthcare in Europe. Disruptive innovations provide new and different perspectives that, in the long run, tend to reduce costs and complexity in favour of improved access and the empowerment of the citizen/patient. Disruptive innovations thus appear as possible new ways of developing sustainable European health systems. Read more.



Events attended

CEEP project on social services

In the framework of the CEEP project “Social services in European cross-industry social dialogue: towards a stronger and deep involvement” HOSPEEM participated in the roundtable meetings organised in Brussels (1st April), Stockholm (29 April) and Vienna (11 May). The project maps the social dialogue structure of the social services branch in 14 targeted EU Member States. It aims to explore the interest of the social services sector to take part in EU cross-industry social dialogue and to strengthen the voice of social services providers in Brussels. The project will come to an end during the summer 2016. A technical training course will be held in Brussels on 16 and 17 June and a final conference will take place on 11 July. A final report will be disseminated on this occasion. Read more

Joint Action Health Workforce - Closure event

The closing conference of the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting, attended by HOSPEEM, took place in Mons (Belgium) on 3 and 4 May. The focus of the event was on a sustainable health workforce for Europe. The project's results on data for current and future health workforce and on planning methodologies, as well as the main deliverables (handbooks of good practices, reports, guidelines) obtained through the three-year cooperation were presented on this occasion. The sustainability vision of the Joint Action and the next steps in the field of health workforce planning and forecasting were also discussed. The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, who delivered the welcoming speech, stressed that “the education and training of health professionals can never be seen as a cost” and that “investing in health is first and foremost investing in keeping people in good health for as long as possible” and “is about investing in our human capital”. He also underlined that “it is not possible for health systems to deliver high quality care to all Europeans without a health workforce in sufficient number, with the right skills and in the right places”. The Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting, which started in April 2013, will end in June 2016. Read more


Workshop - DG SANTE Study on healthcare assistants

On 6 and 7 April a workshop was organised in Brussels in the framework of the DG SANTE study on the support for the definition of core competences of healthcare assistants (CC4HCA). HOSPEEM, alongside EPSU, participated in this 2-day workshop. The discussions focused mainly on the content of a Common Training Framework for HCA and on the feasibility and desirability of such a policy instrument, aimed at extending the system of automatic recognition to other professions. Tjitte Alkema expressed HOSPEEM concerns about the study conducted, especially regarding the initiative, the process, the high diversity of the HCA professional group and the mobility patterns. A draft report, that HOSPEEM will have the possibility to comment, will be available in June. The final report is expected in September 2016. Read more.

Other events 

European Commission meeting “Towards better prevention and management of chronic diseases”

On 21 April the European Commission organised a meeting on better prevention and management of chronic diseases. The purpose of the meeting was to set out an approach towards better prevention and management of chronic diseases at EU level, complementary to that agreed to at international level. The Commission presented and discussed its ideas with representatives of Member States, international organisations and stakeholders and invited them to work jointly on the implementation of activities with a potential to reduce the burden of chronic diseases, improve health outcomes and reinforce the stability of health systems. Read more.

Future events

Save the date - Info Day Horizon 2020 “Health, demographic change and wellbeing”

On 8 July 2016 the European Commission will organise in Brussels anInfo Day on Horizon 2020 Health, demographic change and wellbeing. The Info Day will help the participants find out essential information on the call topics in the 2017 Work Programme of Societal Challenge 1 “Health, demographic change and wellbeing”. Read more.



Reports on Continuing Professional Development

The final report of the conference “Continuing Professional Development for Doctors - Improving Healthcare” jointly organised in Luxembourg on 18 December 2015 by the European Medical Organisations was recently released. The report summarises the input of experts from national, European and international level, offering an insight into best practices, and illustrates different systemic approaches to CPD with a view to advancing the debate among policy-makers and doctors. It also contains a Consensus Statement following the revised Directive 2013/55/EU on the recognition of professional qualifications. This new Statement updates the Consensus Statement on CPD from 2006.

Besides, the report of the workshop organised by DG SANTE on 10 February on CPD and patient safety is now available. Read more.

EU Employment and Social Situation - Quarterly Review Spring 2016

The Spring 2016 Quarterly Review published by DG EMPL highlights that the activity rate in the EU has continued its steady increase since 2008, in particular for older people, though not yet for younger people. The employment rate has returned to its pre-crisis level but with a much wider gap between countries, from 55% in Greece to 80% in Estonia, Germany and Sweden. The publication also stresses that permanent and full-time jobs continue to increase, though at a slower pace than in 2014. The financial situation of EU households continues to improve, with more available income in nearly all Member States, though financial distress remains high for households with the lower income.Read more

Changing role of nursing

The latest issue of Eurohealth Observer examines the changing role of nursing over the past few decades and includes articles on the state of nursing in the European Union, on nurse migration in the EU, on EU enlargement and nursing, and on whether there is an EU framework for nurse education (pp.3-16). Read more.

Strategies across Europe to assess quality of care

The Commission’s expert group on health systems performance assessment, composed of national health authorities and international organisations, has recently published its first report entitled "So What? Strategies across Europe to assess quality of care", focusing on quality of care. It collects and shares examples of best practice in assessing the quality of healthcare implemented in different Member States and presents a list of tools and methodologies developed to support national policy-makers. An executive summary is available here. Read more

EU-OSHA survey on new and emerging risks

EU-OSHA published in late March its overview report of the second European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-2). The report mainly covers the management of occupational safety and health in general, the management of psychosocial risks and the participation of workers in OSH. The survey finds that three-quarters of European establishments report the presence of at least one psychosocial risk factor in the workplace and highlights that worker participation is vital in implementing safety and health measures at work. A summary is available here. Read more

Publication of the call for proposals “Support for Social Dialogue” - DG EMPL

On 15 April DG EMPL published its call for proposal VP/2016/001 aimed at supporting Social Dialogue. Objectives of this call include measures and initiatives related to the adaptation of social dialogue to changes in employment and work-related challenges, such as addressing modernisation of the labour market, job creation and job matching, quality of work, anticipation, preparation and management of change and restructuring, digitalisation of the economy and society, the greening of the economy, flexicurity, skills, (intra-EU) labour mobility, migration, youth employment, health and safety at work, modernisation of social protection systems, reconciliation of work and family life, gender equality, action in the field of anti-discrimination, active ageing, healthier and longer working lives, active inclusion and decent work. The deadline to submit projects is 30 June 2016. Read more. 

Report on Preventing trafficking of labour

Eurofound recently released a report on the regulation of labour market intermediaries and the role of social partners in preventing trafficking of labour. This report aims to contribute to the development of a best practice guide for public authorities on monitoring and enforcing rules and regulations relevant to labour market intermediaries to prevent trafficking for labour exploitation. It brings together research findings on two main areas: how labour market intermediaries are regulated by public authorities in the different Member States, and to what extent social partners’ activities contribute to preventing trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. The main focus of the report is on trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. Read more.