Issue 2 - March 2017 


Dear subscriber subscriber,

February was a busy month with important meetings for HOSPEEM. After several months of preparation HOSPEEM and EPSU adopted their new joint work programme 2017-2019 during the working group meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector. It is structured around four major thematic priorities, i.e. Recruitment and Retention of health workforce, Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning, Occupational Health and Safety and well-being, and Health care policy. Each sub-theme is presented with specific objectives, deliverables and a timeline.

In February HOSPEEM also started a new joint project with EPSU on effective recruitment and retention policies, with the first meeting of the Steering Groups in Brussels gathering more than 20 participants providing orientation and guidance for the two conferences to be organised. The external expert selected to support the project activities, Nico Knibbe (LOCOmotion), also attended the meeting. In preparation for the HOSPEEM-EPSU conference on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) that will take place in Amsterdam on 19 and 20 June 2017 a brief survey was launched to allow members to identify the priority topics related to CPD for the conference and to provide suggestions on possible speakers to be invited.

In this newsletter, you can find HOSPEEM News, News from the Members, EU News, information on events attended, upcoming events and recent publications. This newsletter has been conceived as an interactive tool to support the exchange of information between our members and giving your organisation’s voice a broader diffusion across Europe.

You are very welcome to send us your contributions to include in the future issues.

Enjoy your reading!

Tjitte Alkema



Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Hospital Sector 

HOSPEEM members participated in the first Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting of the year on 27 February in Brussels. The joint HOSPEEM-EPSU work programme for the period 2017-2019 was adopted on this occasion and will from now on structure the activities of the European hospital social partners. Download the document.
During the meeting HOSPEEM members and EPSU affiliates also exchanged views on the new joint HOSPEEM-EPSU project on recruitment and retention (2017-2018). The dates of all the future meetings are listed in the events section on the HOSPEEM website.

Kick-off HOSPEEM-EPSU project on R&R

On 28 February more than 20 representatives from HOSPEEM and EPSU participated in the kick-off meeting of the new HOSPEEM-EPSU project “Promoting effective recruitment and retention policies for health workers in the EU by ensuring access to CPD and healthy and safe workplaces supportive of patient safety and quality care” (2017-2018), officially launched on 1st February.

The members of the two Steering Groups, who will provide orientation and guidance throughout the duration of the project, worked on the preparation of the first European conference to be organised in Amsterdam on 19 and 20 June on Continuing Professional Development. They also exchanged ideas on the priority topics related to CPD to be covered during the conference. Read more.




Members’ profile: NUPH

The National Union of Private Hospitals - NUPH is the Bulgarian member of HOSPEEM. NUPH was founded in 2013 and operates in the private for-profit hospital care sector. Its organizational structure includes a general assembly and a management board. NUPH has currently 42 member hospitals in every district of Bulgaria with 4,400 hospital beds that makes 70% of the private hospital beds and more than 5,000 employees that makes 10% of the overall hospital staff in Bulgaria. Member hospitals are general hospitals, specialized hospitals (for example cardiology, rehabilitation), hospitals for long-term treatment and rehabilitation, hospices and university hospitals. NUPH is an association of experienced hospital managers who are willing to share their experience and promotes the development of successful and flexible models in hospital care. Read more.  



European Commission’s initiative on health and safety of workers

On 10 January, the European Commission adopted a Communication on Occupational Safety and Health. This new initiative aims to better protect workers against work-related cancer, to help businesses in their efforts to comply with the existing legislative framework, and to put a bigger focus on results. The Commission will work with Member States and social partners to remove or update outdated rules within the next two years. The proposed measures are based on a broad ex-post evaluation of the existing OSH "acquis" as part of the REFIT exercise. A practical guidance to help employers in undertaking risk assessment is annexed to the Communication. Read more.

Public Consultation on possible activities under the One Health Action Plan to support Member States in the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

On 27 January the European Commission launched a public consultation on possible activities to include in the new “One Health Action Plan against antimicrobial resistance (AMR)” to be adopted by summer 2017. The consultation includes a questionnaire for public administrators and stakeholders and a questionnaire for citizens, to ensure that everyone has its voice heard on how best the Action Plan can support EU countries in the fight against AMR. The consultation will run until 29 April 2017. Read more.

Election of Antonio Tajani as new President of the European Parliament and re-election of Donald Tusk as President of the European Council

On 17 January 2017, Italian Centre-right (EPP) Antonio Tajani was elected as new President of the European Parliament after a final round of voting with 351 votes. 
On 9 March, during the Summit of the EU Heads of State and Government, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, was re-elected in office for a term of two years and a half, from 1st June 2017 to 30 November 2019. He was also re-appointed as President of the Euro-Summit for the same period. Tusk secured 27 votes out of 28. Tusk’s home country Poland was the only one to vote against him. Read more.

EU-OSHA visualisation tool on safety and health of Europe’s ageing workforce

EU-OSHA recently launched a visualisation tool designed to allow easy and quick access to the results of its three-year project “Safer and healthier work at any age”. The key results of the project are presented, including data on demographics, employment, working conditions, and health, as well as examples of OSH policies across Europe addressing the challenges of an ageing workforce. See more.

Official start of the European Reference Networks

On 1st March, the European Reference Networks (ERNs) officially started their work at EU level. ERNs are virtual networks involving healthcare providers across Europe. They aim to tackle complex or rare diseases and conditions that requires highly specialized treatment and concentrated knowledge and resources. They are being set up under the EU Directive on Patients’ Rights in Healthcare (2011/24/EU), which also makes it easier for patients to access information on healthcare and thus increase their treatment options.
ERNs will develop new innovative care models, eHealth tools, medical solutions and devices. There are currently 24 thematic ERNs, gathering over 900 highly specialized healthcare units from 26 countries across Europe. Read more.

EC publishes the European Winter Semester Package

On 22 February the European Commission published 27 Country reports in the framework of the European Semester process, providing analysis of the economic and social situation in the Member States, including an assessment of remaining imbalances. This winter package shifts the attention to the national dimension of the European Semester, before the publication of a new set of Country-Specific Recommendations later in spring. Read more.

EPSCO Council debates social security, posting of workers and skills in the EU labour market

On the occasion of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council that took place on 3 March the EU Employment ministers held a policy debate on an amended regulation on the coordination of social security systems and discussed a state of play on the posting of workers’ directive. Ministers also discussed the preparations for the Tripartite Social Summit focusing on the Future of Europe (8 March) and adopted conclusions on enhancing the skills of women and men in the EU labour market. Read more.

Joint Employment Report 2017

The EPSCO Council adopted the 2017 Joint Employment Report (JER) on 3 March, including the Scoreboard of key employment and social indicators. The report takes a snapshot of the employment and social situation across the EU and highlights the extent of reforms carried out in the Member States over the past year. Employment and social policies in Member States are analysed in the report, including by looking at three dimensions for each Scoreboard indicator: 1)The difference from the EU and the euro area averages (providing a snapshot of existing employment and social disparities); 2)The yearly change (indicating the historical trend); 3)The yearly change relative to the EU and euro area changes (indicating the dynamics of socio-economic convergence/divergence). Read more

Research project investigating social dialogue in the hospital sector (SPEEED)

The aim of the SPEEED project (Social Partner Engagement and Effectiveness in European Dialogue) is to identify how social partners - trade unions and employer organisations in the EU-28 - facing different structural challenges engage in European sectoral social dialogue (ESSD). To account for differences in the capacity and engagement of social partners the study compares in detail 2 sectors and 5 countries. The sectors investigated are hospitals and metal and the countries covered are Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK. A newsletter as well as information about the project are available on the SPEEED website.



Eurofound Lunch Debate on “Extending working life: careers and flexible retirement”

On 17 January, the HOSPEEM Secretariat attended the lunch debate "Extending working life: careers and flexible retirement” organised by Eurofound with EU Social Partners. The discussion was mainly based on the Eurofound report: “Changing places: Mid-career review and internal mobility”, which aims to analyse the role mid-career reviews can play in extending working life by clarifying workers’ options for remaining in work until a later retirement age. The report focuses on arduous jobs, their incidence across Europe and the implication of such work for career and work sustainability, and examines various tools and strategies used by public authorities and social partners to keep workers in arduous jobs in employment longer. Furthermore, during the meeting some related findings of the recent Eurofound report: “Extending working lives through flexible retirement schemes: Partial retirement” were also debated.

European Commission’s hearing on the working time directive

On 19 January, HOSPEEM participated in a dedicated hearing with social partners organised by the European Commission on the implementation of the Working Time Directive. The aim of the Commission’s non-legislative initiative (expected in April) is to provide legal guidance to reinforce legal certainty by means of an Interpretative Communication, without engaging into a process of legislative revision.

European Commission Conference on the European Pillar of Social Rights

The European Commission organised a high-level conference on the “European Pillar of Social Rights” on 23 January, in which HOSPEEM and some members took part. The event, that was attended by more than 600 participants and several Commissioners, closed a broad public consultation on the Pillar started in March 2016 and will help the Commission to define the final outline of the European Pillar of Social Rights to be presented in April. Read more.



19/06/2017: HOSPEEM Steering Committee/Administration Council, Amsterdam
19-20/06/2017: HOSPEEM-EPSU Conference on Continuing Professional Development, Amsterdam
07/09/2017: HOSPEEM Steering Committee/ Administration Council and General Assembly, Brussels
08/09/2017: HOSPEEM – EPSU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Hospital Sector, Brussels

Other events:

22-23/03/2017: EU-OSHA - Healthy Workplaces Campaign Partner Good Practice Exchange event and Award Ceremony, Brussels
24-28/04/2017: ILO Tripartite Meeting on Improving Employment and Working Conditions in Health Services, Geneva



OECD report – Tackling Wasteful spending on health

This report argues that at a time when public budgets are under pressure worldwide, it is alarming that around one fifth of health expenditure makes no or minimal contribution to good health outcomes. Across OECD countries, a significant share of health care system spending and activities are wasteful at best, and harm our health at worst. One in ten patients in OECD countries is unnecessarily harmed at the point of care. This report systematically reviews strategies put in place by countries to limit ineffective spending and waste. The operational waste discussion reviews strategies to obtain lower prices for medical goods and to better target the use of expensive inputs. Finally, the report reviews countries experiences in containing administrative costs and integrity violations in health. Also access extracts of the report in French. Read the report. 

Eurofound report on private provision of hospital services

This report examines the role and contribution of the private provision of hospital services (both for-profit and non-profit) in the European Union, with a focus on medical services. The report maps the extent of private provision across Europe, examines the drivers for increased private provision, describes how it takes place and presents the views of different stakeholders. The report also analyses the implications of private provision for the public sector and for the efficiency, accessibility and quality of the services delivered. Read more.

Eurofound report on involvement of the social partners in the European Semester

This report provides an update on the role of national social partners in the European Semester process over the period 2015–2016, describing the main developments and changes compared with a previous Eurofound study on their involvement during the period 2011–2014. It examines the social partners’ involvement in the elaboration of the National Reform Programmes and to what extent they are heard and their views taken into account with regard to social and labour policies. Significant differences remain in the practices, quality and effectiveness of social partner involvement in the European Semester process. Read the report.

Eurofound new sectoral information sheet on the health sector

This document gives an overview of the structural characteristics, work organisation practices, human resource management, employee participation and social dialogue in the health more.

ILO/EC report on inequalities and the world of work: what role for industrial relations and social dialogue?

This report presents research to further explore the link between social dialogue indicators (collective bargaining coverage, trade union density, collective agreements, tripartite consultations and so on), social dialogue mechanisms (extension mechanisms, renewal of collective agreements and so on) and indicators of inequalities in the world of work. According to this report social dialogue makes a difference in reducing inequalities among the workforce. Read more.

EC Quarterly review on employment and Social Development in Europe – Winter 2016

This winter edition of the Employment and Social Development in Europe (ESDE) Quarterly Review 2016 highlights continuing economic growth in the EU together with a steady decrease in unemployment. Download the review.

EFSA/ECDC EU report on antimicrobial resistance

Bacteria found in humans, animals and food continue to show resistance to widely used antimicrobials, according to this report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Read more.

GÖ FP-SOGETI Study on costs of unsafe care and cost-effectiveness of patient safety programmes

According to the Council of the European Union, a large proportion of adverse events both in the hospital sector and in primary care are preventable. Patient safety programmes may prevent and reduce such adverse events which ultimately results in less harm inflicted to patients.Calculations on unsafe care show an economic burden for the public health care sector with direct costs of about EUR 21 billion or 1.5 percent of health expenditure for EU Member States in 2014. In this study a basic simulation model was established to transfer information from existing cost-effective patient safety programmes to the specific setting of EU Member States. For example a calculation estimates EU-wide savings of about EUR 6 billion for implementing an electronic medication ordering system preventing adverse events. This report from Gesundheit Österreich Forschungs/Planungs GmbH and SOGETI also aims to give recommendations on the prioritisation of patient safety programmes. Read more.