Social Dialogue for Health Sector discussed the EU and Belgian Presidency initiatives on workforce  shortages in the sector

Rita Baeten, advisor at the Cabinet of Minister of Health and Social Affairs

Rita Baeten, Advisor at the Cabinet of Minister of Health and Social Affairs

(24 February 2024) On Friday 17 May 2024 representatives of EPSU and European Health Employers Organization (HOSPEEM) met in the hybrid format at the sectoral social dialogue in the Hospital and Health Sector.

The meeting’s agenda predominately focused on recent European Commission and the Belgian Presidency initiatives to address workforce shortages. Introduced in March the Commission Action Plan on labour  and skills shortages as well as the  forthcoming Council Conclusion on European Health Union concerning the health workforce strategy.  

During her presentation, Rita Baeten, an advisor at the Cabinet of the Minister of Health and Social Affairs, emphasized that the Council Conclusion set for adoption in June will highlight the crucial role of social partners in developing national strategies to address health workforce challenges. EPSU and HOSPEM were very active in presenting recommendations for this strategy and participated recently in a conference on the future of the European Health Union.

Participants agreed to submit a joint project on health workforce initiatives developed by the national social partners. The two-year project will focus on the following topics:

  • Ageing of the healthcare workforce
  • Work migration and intra EU mobility
  • Temporary Agency Work
  • Digitalisation
  • Future-proofing skills and career pathways
  • Practical solutions in collective bargaining
  • Work life-balance
  • Mental health


Finally, EPSU and HOSPEEM members met with the new director from DG EMPL, Annachiara Tanzarella, to discuss support for this important and representing 23 million workers Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee.

See here the link to the presentations:

In the picture, Rita Baeten, advisor at the Cabinet of Minister of Health and Social Affairs, presenting the objectives of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU in relation to the health and care workforce.