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European Social Partners in the Hospital Sector meet Health Commissioner John Dalli

(July 12) Godfrey Perera, Secretary General of HOSPEEM (European hospital and healthcare employers’ association) and Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, General Secretary (European Federation of Public Service Unions) met yesterday Commissioner John Dalli to discuss cooperation between DG SANCO and the recognised European Social Partners in the hospital and healthcare sector.

The meeting built the foundation for co-operation with the social partners in the hospital and health care sector. Commissioner Dalli stressed the importance of involving the social partners in the European health policy debate, underlining that the social partners can make a crucial contribution to discussions based on their practical expertise.

Both EPSU and HOSPEEM underlined their keen interest of becoming involved in planning, implementation and follow-up to the Joint Action on EU Health Workforce Planning, as a first common priority. In this context, the social partner representatives referred to the Framework of Action “Recruitment and Retention” (http://www.epsu.org/a/7158), signed on 17 December 2010, constituting the key reference document to develop concrete action to tackle staff shortages and qualification needs now and in the future. In the meeting with Commissioner Dalli, EPSU and HOSPEEM also presented the Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-Border Recruitment and Retention in the Hospital Sector (http://www.epsu.org/a/3715), adopted on 7 April 2008, and explored how this social-partner-based document could be better promoted at European level, in parallel to the complementary WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel, adopted in May 2010.

“We need a balanced approach to mobility of health care staff” said Godfrey Perera, HOSPEEM Secretary General. “We cannot sustain a situation where the more affluent countries in the EU benefit to the detriment of the exporting countries, such as Latvia or Romania.” Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, General Secretary of EPSU, concurred in saying: ”Investing in health care is investing in the future of a country. The health status of a nation determines its economic performance. Health care staff are extremely motivated to do a good job. This motivation should be built upon to enhance the employment of both younger and older staff now and in the future.“

Commissioner Dalli concluded the meeting by stating that he looked forward to working closely with the Social Partners in the future.

For more information contact Mathias Maucher mmaucher epsu.org (EPSU) or Federica Benassi Federica.benassi hospeem.eu (HOSPEEM)


The Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector was set up in 2006. EPSU and HOSPEEM have agreed on a number of joint texts and are involved in projects to promote a properly functioning social dialogue across Europe. The most prominent example of successful negotiations is the Framework Agreement on the prevention of sharps’ injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector concluded by HOSPEEM and EPSU on 17 July 2009 (http://www.epsu.org/a/5582), later incorporated in Directive 2010/32/EU of 11 May 2010, currently transposed into national legislation. For EPSU and HOSPEEM European integration is very much linked to universal access to health care for all, based on solidarity and equity.

HOSPEEM is the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association. It regroups at European level national , regional and local employers’ associations operating in the hospital and health care sector and delivering services of general interest, in order to co-ordinate their views and actions with regard to a sector and a market in constant evolution. HOSPEEM is an individual member of CEEP.

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC with 8 million public service workers from over 200 trade unions are members. They organise workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration