Issue 4 - July 2016 


Dear subscriber subscriber,

The last months have been intense for HOSPEEM, with the renewal of the HOSPEEM Steering Committee and Financial Advisory Committee and the election of two new Vice-Secretary Generals, as well as with the conclusion of the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on musculoskeletal disorders and psycho-social risks and stress at work, the finalisation of the jointHOSPEEM-EPSU declaration on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Life-Long Learning (LLL) for all health workers in the EU and the preparation of a joint HOSPEEM-EPSU project proposal on effective recruitment and retention policies.

The period following the summer break will also be very active for HOSPEEM, in particular with the participation in an international Economic Forum in Poland on the role of employers in the public health system, in a roundtable with EU Commissioner Oettinger on digital skills and in a Eurofound expert meeting on private provision of hospital services.

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

This newsletter has been conceived as an interactive tool aimed at facilitating not only the flow of communication from the EU level, but also supporting the exchange of information between our members and 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 General Assembly

The HOSPEEM General Assembly was held in Brussels on June 1st. On this occasion the Steering Committee and the Financial Advisory Committee were renewed and two new Vice-Secretary Generals were elected. The newly elected Steering Committee, with a 3-year mandate, is composed of Marta Branca (ARAN), Bjørn Henriksen (SPEKTER), Jevgenijs Kalejs (Latvian Hospital Association), Johanna Karlström (CLAE), Dirk Reidelbach (VKA) and Elisabetta Zanon (NHS). The newly elected Financial Advisory Committee, with a 3-year mandate, is composed by John Delamere (HSE), Sigitas Griskonis (Lithuanian National Association of Healthcare organizations), Laetitia Tibourtine (FEHAP) and Malene Vestergaard Sørensen (Danish Regions). Bjørn Henriksen (SPEKTER) and Dirk Reidelbach (VKA) were elected as Vice-Secretary Generals. 

June Social Dialogue meeting

HOSPEEM members participated in the second Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting of the year on 2 June in Brussels. The meeting was dedicated primarily to the finalisation of the HOSPEEM-EPSU joint declaration on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Life-Long Learning (LLL) for all health workers in the EU, to the conclusion of the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on health and safety risks in the hospital sector and to an exchange of views on the next HOSPEEM-EPSU work programme for the period 2017-2019.

Dutch presidency conference on professional qualifications

conference on professional qualifications and safe mobility of health professionals was organised in Amsterdam on 28 June in the framework of the Dutch presidency of the Council of the European Union. Issues addressed during the event include the European professional card and the alert mechanism. Tjitte Alkema, Secretary General of HOSPEEM, was invited to participate in a panel on signaling and preventing suboptimal functioning. The role and responsibilities of employers in this field and the possible influence of education and continuous professional development were discussed. On this occasion he promoted the recent achievement of the EU sectoral social partners of the hospital and healthcare sector, i.e. the joint HOSPEEM-EPSU declaration on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Life-Long Learning for all health workers in the EU. Read more.



Members’ profile: the Spanish Private Health Alliance (ASPE)

The Spanish Private Health Alliance, ASPE, is the Spanish member of HOSPEEM. It joined HOSPEEM as observer member on April 1st, 2016.

ASPE, created by the merger by absorption between the Spanish Federation of Private Clinics, FNCP, and the National Confederation of Private Clinics and Hospitals, CNCHP, is a non-profit statewide organisation and is the most representative association of Spanish private healthcare, with over 600 associated hospitals across the country, i.e. more than 75% of the private hospitals based in Spain.

It was established under Law 19 of 1st April 1977 which regulates the right of association. Its constitution was promoted by Marcial Gómez Gil, who was its first President and President of Honor.

ASPE is headed by Ms. Cristina Contel, also President of FNCP since October 2013, and of the Catalan Association of Health Organizations, ACES. The Board is composed of representatives from both large business groups and smaller hospitals. All Spanish Regions are also represented in the Board regardless their size or location.

ASPE main activities consist in promoting and defending the system of free private initiative in the framework of free market economy, representing and managing the general and common interests in the media and in providing a better understanding of the socio-economic role of Private Health.

In July 2013, ASPE, along with other important associations of the tourism and health industries, launched Spaincares with the aim of promoting and publicising the quality of Spanish health and tourism around the world and encouraging the arrival of medical tourists to the country.

ASPE works in close cooperation with the Spanish Health Ministry, the Regional Health Authorities and other relevant stakeholders in Spain and at European level to ensure a higher quality of care and better health outcomes. Read more

NHS reaction to the UK referendum results

Following the UK referendum on the membership of the European Union organised on 23 June – in which the majority of voters expressed their wish that the UK should leave the EU – the NHS European Office follows developments very closely and analyses the possible implications for the NHS. 

The NHS considers that the ‘Leave’ vote will certainly have far-reaching implications despite at this stage it being impossible to predict the level of impact, as the type of new relationship the UK government will seek, the length of the negotiations with the EU and the outcome there will ultimately be are not known. Elisabetta Zanon, head of the NHS European Office, and Kate Ling, Senior policy manager at the NHS European Office, respectivelywrote an article on what lies ahead for the NHS and on the implications of the referendum result for the NHS workforce. A Brexit FAQ is available here. Read more.

British Health Education England's study visit to the Dutch Association of Hospitals 

From June 15 to June 17, the Dutch Association of Hospitals (NVZ) was visited by its British counterpart Health Education England (HEE). While in the Netherlands, the HEE also visited the Jeroen Bosch Hospital. The goal of the visit was to exchange policy initiatives and examples of optimum nursing care. The search for the right nursing mix for excellent patient care is not confined to national borders, which means there are opportunities to learn from each other. Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing and Deputy Director of Education and Quality at HEE, sat down with the NVZ’s Education and Training advisory board and with the Jeroen Bosch Academy. Read more



Signature of the joint statement on the Relaunch of Social Dialogue

On 27 June, the Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Valdis Dombrovskis, together with the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, and Lodewijk Asscher, Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, signed on behalf of the Commission and the Council a quadripartite statement on a 'New start for Social Dialogue', after a year of discussions between EU social partners. The statement was co-signed by the European cross-industry social partners (ETUC, BusinessEurope, UEAPME and CEEP).

This statement is part of the 'New Start for Social Dialogue' initiated by President Junker at the high level conference on 5 March 2015 together with European, national and sectoral social partners and other EU institutions.

The statement underlines the fundamental role of the European social dialogue as a significant component of EU employment and social policy making. It identifies actions to be undertaken by the signatories with the aim of further strengthening social dialogue at EU and national level.

It is important to underline that the statement refers to the recently adopted Council conclusions on "A new start for a strong social dialogue". Read more

Slovakian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The Slovakian Presidency of the Council of the European Union started on July 1st, taking over from the Netherlands, and will come to an end on December 31st, 2016.

During the next 6 months the Presidency will focus on four key areas: economically strong Europe, modern single market, sustainable migration and asylum policies and globally engaged Europe. The priorities and the working programme of the Slovakian Presidency are driven by three interconnected principles of achieving tangible results, overcoming fragmentation and focusing on the citizens. The Presidency is responsible for driving forward the Council's work on EU legislation, ensuring the continuity of the EU agenda, orderly legislative processes and cooperation among Member States. Read more.

European Commission's New Skills Agenda for Europe

On 10 June the European Commission adopted its new Skills Agenda for Europe. The New Skills Agenda focuses on improving the quality and relevance of skills formation, making skills and qualifications more visible and comparable, as well as improving skills intelligence and information for better career choices. The Commission proposes 10 actions to be taken forward over the next two years, including a Skills Guarantee to help low-skilled adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and progress towards an upper secondary qualification; a review of the European Qualifications Framework and the related annexes for a better understanding of qualifications and to make better use of all available skills in the European labour market; the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition to support co-operation among education, employment and industry stakeholders; the 'Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills’ to improve skills intelligence and address skills shortages in specific economic sectors. Other actions will be launched later in 2016 and 2017.

On 20 June the Commission organised a high-level event to launch its new Skills Agenda for Europe. The launch event gathered an audience from a wide spectrum of employment and education stakeholders and featured high-level speakers from European and international institutions. Read more

European Agenda on Migration: Commission’s action plan on Integration and reform of the 'Blue Card' scheme

On 7 June the European Commission presented its Action Plan to support Member States in the integration of third-country nationals and their economic and social contribution to the EU, as well as a legal proposal to reform the rules on highly skilled migrants coming to the EU to work. This proposal revamps the existing EU Blue Card scheme, adopted in 2009, and aims to improve the EU’s ability to attract and retain highly skilled third-country nationals. A factsheet on the revision of the EU Blue Card Directive is available here.

The action plan on integration proposes actions in key areas such as: pre-departure and pre-arrival integration measures, in particular for people in clear need of international protection who are being resettled; education, employment and vocational training; access to basic services; and active participation and social inclusion. A more strategic and coordinated approach is also proposed for the use of EU funds to support national integration measures. A factsheet on the action plan on the integration of third-country national is available here.  Read more

Second phase consultation on work-life balance

On 12 July the European Commission launched the second phase social partners’ consultation on a "New Start for work-life balance". The aim of the consultation is to gather views on how to reduce obstacles to women's participation in the labour market, by improving work-life balance and possibilities for women and men to make use of their rights more equally. In this second-stage consultation, the Commission would like to know whether social partners would be interested in opening negotiations with a view to concluding an agreement at EU level. In this context the Commission published a letter from Director-General Michel Servoz as well as a consultation document and an analytical document. The deadline is 30 September 2016. Read more.

Spring 2016 European Semester package: publication of country-specific recommendations

On 18 May the European Commission, based on the analysis presented in the country reports and the dialogue held with Member States, presented its 2016 country-specific recommendations (CSRs) setting out economic policy guidance for Member States for the next 12 to 18 months, along with an overarching Communication. The CSRs focus on priority reforms to strengthen the recovery of Member States' economies. They also reflect the Commission's efforts to make the European Semester of economic governance more effective and relevant. Among the issues covered in the communication, health and long-term care was analysed in 14 Members States. Specifically, a modernisation in long-term care, pensions and health care, covering not only the extent of their provision but also their financing is demanded in connection to the effects of an ageing population in the near future. Read more.

Protection against cancer-causing chemicals

On 13 May, the European Commission proposed changes to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (2004/37/EC) to limit workers’ exposure to 13 cancer-causing chemicals at the workplace. The Commission proposes to include in the Directive new or amended limit values for these 13 cancer-causing chemicals. These limit values set a maximum concentration for the presence of a chemical carcinogen in the workplace air. Cancer is estimated to account for more than half of work-related deaths in the EU, around 102,000 deaths per year. Introducing these limit values will lead to fewer cases of occupational cancer and improve legal protection of exposed workers. By reducing the differences between Member States in terms of workers' health protection, this proposal will encourage more cross-border employment, because workers can be reassured that minimum standards and levels of protection of their health will be guaranteed in all Member States. Read more.

Commissioner Andriukaitis announces the State of Health in the EU initiative 

At the EPSCO Council in June, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, announced an initiative for 2016-2017 called the State of Health in the EU, in cooperation with the OECD, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, and Member States. The Commission aims at bringing together internationally recognised expertise to strengthen country-specific and EU-wide knowledge in the field of health. This initiative will boost analytical capacity and support Member States with their evidence-based policy making. A roadmap of the State of Health in the EU is available here. Read more

Online Repository of Innovative Practices on Active and Healthy Ageing 

An online repository of innovative practices on active and healthy ageing has recently been developed and launched by the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, a pilot initiative launched by the European Commission in 2011. It will help gather resources and knowledge on active and healthy ageing from across Europe to ensure the implementation of innovative solutions on a European scale. Click here to visit the online repository.

Antimicrobial resistance in the EU 

In June the European Commission published a special Eurobarometer survey on antimicrobial resistance as part of its wider strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance. The report shows a 6% decrease in consumption of antibiotics in the last years but at the same time a persistent lack of awareness on their effects. Read more

On 17 June, on the occasion of the EPSCO Council, the European Ministers of Health adopted conclusions calling upon Member States and the Commission to step up their efforts against antimicrobial resistance. Read more

European Commission’s Expert Panel on Health 

In June, the European Commission’s independent Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health adopted three opinions and one memorandum related to access to healthcare and healthcare reforms. Read more

EU-OSHA 2016–17 Good Practice Awards

In the context of the new 2016-2017 campaign Healthy Workplaces for All Ages, EU-OSHA launched on 7 June the Good Practice Awards 2016-2017. The award aims to highlight leading examples of organisations actively managing safety and health at work in the context of an ageing workforce. The competition is organised by EU-OSHA in cooperation with Member States and the Council presidencies of the EU, to recognise outstanding and innovative contributions to workplace safety and health. The Good Practice Awards also serve as a platform for sharing and promoting good practice across Europe. Read more




First hearing on the Pillar of Social Rights

On 6 June HOSPEEM participated in the first social partners’ hearing organised by the European Commission on the Pillar of Social Rights. Representatives of the EU cross-industry social partners, European sectoral social partners and national cross-industry social partners attended the meeting. A first outline of the Pillar was presented by Allan Larsson (Special Adviser to President Juncker) and Michel Servoz (Director General, DG EMPL). The discussions with employers and trade unions focused on the EU social acquis, the challenges for the future of work and welfare systems and the role of the European Pillar of Social Rights as part of a deeper and fairer Economic and Monetary Union. The discussions will be further deepened during a second hearing that will take place in October. A round of national consultations is also ongoing. Read more

CEEP project on social services: technical training course and final dissemination event

HOSPEEM took part in the technical training course of the CEEP project “Social services in European cross-industry Social dialogue: towards a strong and deeper involvement” held in Brussels on 16 and 17 June. Several EU dossiers of major interest for the social services sector were addressed and discussed in depth during the meeting, i.e. the revision of the Working Time Directive, the multi-sectoral guidelines to tackle third-party violence and harassment related to work and the new rules on Public procurement.

HOSPEEM also participated in the final conference of the project organised in Brussels on 11 July, with a specific input from Tjitte Alkema, Secretary General of HOSPEEM, in a panel with the other project partners. This event gave the opportunity to present the project findings and disseminate the final report drafted in the framework of the project.


Cross-industry social partners’ joint conference on “Promoting and reinforcing the EU social dialogue”

The EU cross-industry social partners CEEP, BusinessEurope, UEAPME and ETUC organised a joint conference “Promoting and reinforcing the EU Social Dialogue” on 5 and 6 July in Brussels, in which HOSPEEM participated. This event was intended to take stock of the developments in the field of social dialogue more than a year after the March 2015 conference on a New Start for Social dialogue. National and EU social partners were able to exchange, identify problems and share best practices during the different plenary sessions and panel discussions. Read CEEP press release



EU-OSHA Country reports take stock of Europe’s ageing workforce  

On 7 June EU-OSHA released the Safer and healthier work at any age country inventory reports. This review presents a wide variety of tools and resources to be used to make workplaces safe and ensure employees are healthy, no matter their age. The reports focus on a variety of topics, target groups and methods, in order to suit multiple targets. They are part of the European Parliament pilot project that started in 2013 with a mission to investigate ways of improving the safety and health of older people at work. The key reason behind this was to know more about what is being done to tackle Europe’s ageing workforce. Read more

E-guide manage age at work 

In the framework of its Healthy Workplaces for All Ages campaign EU-OSHA has released an e-guide on managing safety and health at work for an ageing workforce. This e-guide provides practical information and examples related to the ageing of the workforce and shows how age-related challenges can be addressed at work. The content of the e-guide has been tailored to four different audiences: employers, workers, HR managers and OSH professionals. The e-guide is structured around four themes: ageing and work, healthy workplaces for all ages, health-promoting workplaces and return to work. Read more

Rethinking European Healthcare – European Health Parliament 

The European Health Parliament, a platform of 80 young professionals from across Europe who are working together in formulating innovative ideas with the aim of shaping the future of healthcare in Europe, adopted in June a set of recommendations on digital skills for health professionals, migration and health challenges, prevention and self-care, climate change and health and antimicrobial resistance. These recommendations will be shared with policy makers and the healthcare community across the EU Member States. An executive summary is available here. Read more.

Latest Eurostat data on nursing and caring professionals in the EU 

This article of Eurostat presents an overview of EU statistics on healthcare personnel and more particularly on nursing and caring professionals, including health care assistants. Nursing and caring professionals provide services directly to patients in hospitals, ambulatory care and patients’ homes. Read more

Employment and Social Situation Quarterly review– Summer edition

On 28 June, the European Commission published the summer edition of its Employment and Social Situation Quarterly review. An increase of the employment rate is confirmed, for both the EU and the euro area. This increase represents 3 million more employed people in the EU than one year before. The overall long-term unemployment rate, on the other hand, decreased by 0.6 pp compared to a year before and stands now at 4.3% of the labour force. This is the largest reduction since the first decline in long-term unemployment observed in 2014. Read more.