Issue 3 - July 2017 


Dear subscriber subscriber,

On 19 and 20 June 2017, HOSPEEM and EPSU – with the support of the Dutch HOSPEEM member Nederlandse Vereniging van Ziekenhuizen (NVZ) – organised the conference “Working together, learning together – Switching to the learning mode” in Amsterdam to pursue and deepen their thematic focus on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Life-Long Learning (LLL).

The conference provided a forum for exchange on a number of social partner-based initiatives presented by HOSPEEM members and EPSU affiliates from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This conference was a key step for the sectoral social partners in the hospital and health care sector, HOSPEEM and EPSU, in identifying successful approaches, instruments and formats of CPD, both from the management and workers’ perspective. It brought together more than 100 participants from 18 EU Member States and 4 non-EU countries. Read the media release

The event built on the HOSPEEM-EPSU Joint Declaration on Continuing Professional Development and Life-Long Learning for All Health Workers in the EU adopted in November 2016. European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis strongly expressed his support to the declaration and to the conference in a video address to participants. The Dutch Ministry of Health represented by the Director General also expressed its active support to this social partner initiative. 

Looking at the health professions, a particular focus was given to nurses, health care support staff and doctors. This was also underpinned by four short testimonial videos of Dutch nurses about how they have benefited from CPD. All the plenary and break-out session presentations, videos and graphic recording are now available online. A report on the conference, also containing the key take-home messages, will be published by the end of 2017. 

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 supports the exchange of information between our members and gives 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



HOSPEEM Study visit to Denmark 

HOSPEEM visited its Danish member organisation Danish Regions on 22 March in Copenhagen. A meeting at Danish Regions provided the opportunity to discuss about their activities and current priorities and to exchange on the Danish healthcare system and on the most prominent challenges in the hospital and healthcare sector in Denmark. The discussions focused in particular on the Danish value-based healthcare initiative and the “Sundheds platform”, a new digital health platform gathering all information about each patient in a single electronic set of medical records, being implemented in Danish hospitals.
During this study visit, HOSPEEM also had the opportunity to exchange about assessment of skill needs and cross-sectoral competence development. Working hour arrangements and how they affect workers’ health were also discussed. Read more

HOSPEEM-EPSU Meeting with Commissioner Andriukaitis

On 24 April, HOSPEEM and EPSU Secretary Generals Mr. Tjitte Alkema and Mr. Jan Willem Goudriaan met with EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, responsible for health and food safety, to discuss their joint work on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) that culminated in the signing of a Joint Declaration by HOSPEEM and EPSU in November 2016. The Commissioner expressed his support for the Joint Declaration and more generally also for the work of the EU-level sectoral social dialogue partners for the hospital/health care sector. He stressed that social partners should keep the Joint Declaration on CPD for All Health Workers in the EU on the agenda of EU Member States and of the Council of the European Union. Read the joint HOSPEEM and EPSU press release



Members’ profile: SPEKTER

The Employers’ Association SPEKTER (or Arbeidsgiverforeningen SPEKTER) is the Norwegian member of HOSPEEM. SPEKTER was established in 1993 and represents around 200 large companies of public interest, primarily within the health sector, culture and transportation. SPEKTER is one of  Norway’s largest employers’ associations. SPEKTER defends the interests of private and publicly owned companies which employ more than 200 000 employees. SPEKTER participates actively in the development of labour policy and employment legal framework at national level. It is an independent organisation owned and managed by its members with the power to negotiate collective agreements. The specificity of SPEKTER is its dedication to support members with tailor-made solutions of great social significance and adapted to today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. Read more



Publication of the European Pillar of Social Rights and launch of a reflection on the social dimension of the EU

On 26 April the European Commission presented its proposal for the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Pillar sets out 20 key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. The Pillar is designed as a compass for a renewed process of upward convergence towards better working and living conditions in Europe. It is primarily conceived for the Euro area but applicable to all EU Member States wishing to be part of it. In this context the European Commission also published a number of legislative and non-legislative initiatives such as on work-life balance, on the Working Time directive as well as consultations on the Written Statement Directive and on access to social protection. On the same day, the Commission also launched a reflection on the social dimension of Europe as a follow up to the Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe presented on 1st March. Read more

Publication of the 2017 Country Specific Recommendations

On 22 May, the European Commission issued its 2017 country-specific recommendations, setting out its economic policy guidance tailored to each Member State for the next 12 to 18 months. The Commission calls on Member States to use the window of opportunity offered by the economic recovery to pursue structural reforms, boost investment and strengthen their public finances. These Country Specific Recommendations include health-related ones, in particular the need for Member States to reform their health systems to correspond with the priorities set by the European Commission. Read more 

Main results of the EPSCO Council

On 15 and 16 June, on the occasion of the EPSCO Council in Luxembourg, the European Ministers for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs exchanged views on the health aspects of the European Pillar of Social Rights, held a policy debate on the 2017 European Semester and approved the employment and social policy aspects of the country specific recommendations. The Council also reached a general approach on a directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work and adopted conclusions encouraging a voluntary cooperation between Member States' health systems. Read more 

New EC action plan to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) 

On 29 June, the European Commission adopted the new action plan which sets out a comprehensive framework for more extensive action to reduce the emergence and spread of AMR and to increase the development and availability of new effective antimicrobials inside and outside the EU. It focuses on activities with a clear EU added value and, where possible, on measurable and concrete outcomes. It enhances its support to help EU countries deliver innovative, effective and sustainable responses to AMR. Read more

Adoption of EU Guidelines for prudent use of antimicrobials in human health

One of the first deliverables of the recently adopted new action plan are the Guidelines for prudent use of antimicrobials in human health. The Guidelines aim to reduce inappropriate use and promote prudent use of antimicrobials in humans, with a special focus on antibacterial agents. They target all actors, national, regional and local governments, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, hospital administrators and others who play a role in antimicrobial use. They also complement infection prevention and control guidelines which may exist at national level. Read more

Start of the Estonian Presidency

On 1st July Estonia took over the EU Presidency for the second half of 2017. The main priorities of the Estonian Presidency are the following: 1) An open and innovative European economy consisting in developing a business environment which supports knowledge-based growth and competitiveness; 2) A safe and secure Europe by acting together to promote peace, prosperity and stability; 3) A digital Europe and the free movement of data to exploit the benefits of the technological progress; 4) An inclusive and sustainable Europe which supports equal opportunities for high-quality education, employment, access to services and development of skills. Read more

Informal EPSCO meeting in Tallinn 

An informal meeting of employment, social policy and health ministers will take place in Tallinn on 19 and 20 July. The focus will be mainly on the issue of work-life balance and gender equality in the EU. One of the deliverables of the recently launched European Pillar of Social Rights is indeed the New Start initiative to address the work-life balance challenges faced by working parents and carers.

European Commission Mid-term Review communication on the Digital Single Market 

On 10 May the European Commission published the mid-term review communication of the Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy. It assesses progress towards the implementation of the DSM, identifying where more efforts are needed and where the changing digital landscape calls for new action at EU level. In the communication the Commission has identified three main areas where further EU action is needed: (1) Develop the European Data Economy to its full potential, (2) Protect Europe's assets by tackling cybersecurity challenges, and (3) Promote the online platforms as responsible players of a fair internet ecosystem. Read more



EP Conference “Scientific, Human Health, Husbandry, and Socio-Economic Aspects of Antibacterial Resistance”

HOSPEEM attended this conference at the European Parliament (EP) on 28 June, jointly organised by EPP, S&D and Public Advise International Foundation in the context of the adoption by the European Commission of the new Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance on 29 June. Commissioner Andriukaitis addressed a keynote speech, mainly focused on the main aspects of the new action plan.
The importance of the multi-sectoral approach in combating AMR and of the inclusion of AMR in the curricula of health professionals (nurses, medical doctors, dentists) was highlighted. The conference stressed that AMR is not just a medical issue but that it entails social and economic aspects. It also highlighted the need for a stronger political will and a more coordinated approach among sectors.

EP Conference “Sidestepping Antimicrobial Resistance, Role of Existing and New Antibiotics”

HOSPEEM also attended the conference jointly organised by EPP, S&D and ALDE at the European Parliament on 27 June. The discussion focused on how to tackle antibiotic resistance and healthcare-associated infections given that bacteria resistant to antibiotics are a growing global health threat with severe social and economic implications. The discussion underlined how antibiotic use in hospitals is a major driver of the emergence and spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria responsible for healthcare associated infections. The use/misuse of antibiotics in animals and in the agricultural sector was also discussed.

CEEP Public Services Summit

The third edition of the CEEP Public Services Summit was organised on 28 June in Brussels. It was attended by an important number of high-level representatives from the EU institutions. The discussions focused on 5 major themes: the future of Europe, future-proof public services, the future of social Europe and social dialogue, the future of jobs and growth and the state of the EU and of democracy. Kate Ling (NHS) introduced the debate on Brexit by presenting its potential impacts on public services in the UK. During the day, the key role of public services and services of general interest in providing citizens with high quality of life was highlighted. Read more



07/09/2017: HOSPEEM Steering Committee/General Assembly, Brussels
08/09/2017: HOSPEEM – EPSU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector, Brussels

22/11/2017: Joint HOSPEEM-HOPE Workshop on Antimicrobial Resistance and Continuing Professional Development, Brussels. HOSPEEM and the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE) will host a joint Workshop on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Continuing Professional Development (CDP) on 22 November 2017. The workshop will focus on continuous multi-interprofessional training related to AMR for the correct understanding and use of antibiotics by staff and patients and the prevention of infections. Good practice examples to train staff in combatting AMR in the hospital sector will be presented to foster the discussion. The event will also provide the opportunity to emphasize the importance of team/interprofessional cooperation in combatting AMR.



EC practical guide for employers on health and safety at work

This practical guide published by the EC, available in all EU languages, provides an overview of the main obligations and existing tools and resources to help employers applying occupational safety and health rules. It addresses such issues as getting the most out of compulsory risk assessments, preventive and protective measures as well as training with concrete examples, illustrations and useful links. Read more

The economics of patient safety 

About one in ten patients are harmed during health care. This OECD paper estimates the health, financial and economic costs of this harm. Results indicate that patient harm exerts a considerable global health burden. The paper also examines how patient harm can be minimised effectively and efficiently. Read more

EC success stories about digitalisation, employability and inclusiveness – The role of Europe

The European Commission recently published a concept paper and a factsheet on digitalisation, employability and inclusiveness. The concept paper and the factsheet address some of the challenges and the benefits of the digitisation for employment and acknowledges that there is a need to accompany people through this transition.
Read more

DG EMPL EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals 

This tool developed by the European Commission is meant to support early identification of the skills of refugees, migrants and other third country nationals. The EU Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals is part of the New Skills Agenda for Europe. Read more

Report from the World Bank on the consequence of AMR to global economy

Since their use began some 70 years ago, antimicrobials have saved hundreds of millions of lives. This report examines the economic and development consequences of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - the capacity that disease-causing microorganisms acquire to resist the drugs created to fight them. The report argues that putting resources into AMR containment now is one of the highest-yield investments countries can make. Read more

Eurofound Report on Occupational change and wages inequalities: European Jobs Monitor 2017

During 2016, employment in the EU finally returned to the same level as before the global financial crisis. The recovery that began in 2013 has resulted in the net creation of eight million new jobs. Most of this net new employment has been created in services, but there has also been a marked rebound in manufacturing employment, with around 1.5 million new jobs. Read more 

OECD Health Statistics 2017 

The online database OECD Health Statistics 2017 offers a comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries. It is an essential tool to carry out comparative analyses and draw lessons from international comparisons of diverse health systems. Access the 2017 online database here. Read the mini user's guide on how to create tables from the datasets.

EU-OSHA Annual report 2016: celebrating achievements, planning for the future 

The year 2016 was an important one for the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), spreading the messages arising from several flagship projects. This includes the dissemination of the results of the second edition of the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-2) and the initial findings of the project on safety and health in micro and small enterprises (MSEs). EU‑OSHA’s many activities on safety and health in the context of an ageing workforce, including developments in the 2016-17 Healthy Workplaces Campaign, are also covered in the report.The annual report also looks to the future, with news on plans for the 2018-19 campaign on dangerous substances, among many other forthcoming activities. Read more

WHO Publication Ten years in public health 2007-2017

This publication describes the evolution of global public health during the tenure of Dr Chan, WHO Director-General. This series of chapters evaluates successes, setbacks, and enduring challenges during her administration. The importance of country leadership and community engagement is stressed repeatedly. Read more