Statement of the European organisations of Health Professionals on COVID-19
26 March 2020
Health professionals cry out for equipment!
Twelve European organisations representing all health professionals involved in the fight to Covid-19 met to assess the current situation across Europe and list essential needs to face the worst health crisis that the European Union has faced so far, counting as of today more than 300.000 cases of COVID 19 in the EU territory and UK.
All healthcare professionals federations share the same concerns regarding the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in almost every Member State. The poor availability of medical equipment (i.e. ventilators and ECMO machines) was also denounced.
There is an urgent need for more resources to ensure a reasonable staffing level and the availability of PPE and medical devices. It is therefore essential to work together on monitoring and supporting the efforts of national governments and the European Commission to make sure that the medical equipment and medicines needed in the treatment of COVID-19 patients are made available for the countries in critical situations.. The European Union must make it a priority to ensure that all member states pull together resources and harmonise prevention protocols to ensure the protection of lives.
Further to this, we consider it imperative that testing capacity is increased so that all the staff working in our hospitals and in the community have the possibility to be tested for Corona virus where appropriate"
Even in times of crisis, adequate working conditions must be ensured. Staff must have breaks and time off between shifts, to be able to carry on in what could be a long-term global crisis. Working in such conditions takes its toll on the psychological health of staff, so appropriate support services must also be put in place.
Lastly, the European organisations call on the European Commission to open a dialogue with European health professionals to share experience and best practice across Europe and to ensure that the Commission’s own support measures focus on operational priorities on the ground.
We repeat: #StayHomeSaveLives #SafeWorkersSaveLives
Dr Erich-Theo Merholz, AEMH President
The European Association for Senior Hospital Physicians (AEMH) provides a European platform for hospital physicians, which develops and maintains a spirit of cooperation and communication among its national member delegations, improving the understanding of the different health systems. It encourages the exchange of ideas and experiences and promotes discussion among doctors, patients and politicians with the major objective of promoting health and improving patient safety.
Dr. Marco Landi, President of CED
The Council of European Dentists (CED) is a European not-for-profit association representing over 340,000 dental practitioners across Europe through 33 national dental associations and chambers in 31 European countries. Established in 1961 to advise the European Commission on matters relating to the dental profession, the CED aims to promote high standards on oral healthcare and dentistry with effective patient-safety centred professional practice, and to contribute to safeguarding the protection of public health. The CED is registered in the Transparency Register with the ID number 4885579968-84.
Dr. José SANTOS, President of European Council of Medical Orders
The purpose of the CEOM is to promote within the European Union and the European Free Trade Association the practice of high-quality medicine respectful of patients’ needs. CEOM brings together the Medical Councils and the independent medical regulatory authorities of European Union Member States and the European Free Trade Association responsible for either, ethics and professional conduct, registration or licensing procedures, disciplinary matters regarding physicians, recognition of qualifications and levels of specialty, authorization to practice and setting of professional standards. CEOM is the leader medical organization in Europe addressing the issue of violence in healthcare settings.
Prof. Dr Frank Ulrich Montgomery,, CPME President
The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) represents national medical associations across Europe. We are committed to contributing the medical profession’s point of view to EU institutions and European policy-making through proactive cooperation on a wide range of health and healthcare related issues.
We believe the best possible quality of health and access to healthcare should be a reality for everyone. We see the patient-doctor relationship as fundamental in achieving these objectives. We are committed to interdisciplinary cooperation among doctors and with other health professions. We strongly advocate a ‘health in all policies’ approach to encourage cross-sectorial awareness for and action on the determinants of health.
Petr Horák on behalf of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP).
The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) is a not-for-profit organisation that defends the interests of more than 23.300 European hospital pharmacists from its 35 member organisations. EAHP works to develop knowledge on hospital pharmacy to ease the improvement of care and outcomes for patients in the hospital setting. The Association achieves this through science, practice, research, education, as well as sharing best-practice and responsibility with other healthcare professionals. More information about EAHP is available here.
Paul De Raeve, EFN Secretary General
The European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN) was established in 1971. The EFN represents over 36 National Nurses Associations and its work has an effect on the daily work of 3 million nurses throughout the European Union and 6 million in Europe. The EFN is the independent voice of the nursing profession and its mission is to strengthen the status and practice of the profession of nursing for the benefit of the health of the citizens and the interests of nurses in the EU and Europe. For more information: www.efnweb.eu
Mathias Körner, President of the EJD
Representing over 300.000 Junior Doctors all over Europe the EJD‘s initial objective includes safeguarding the interests of the Junior Doctors in Europe by improving the working conditions, the mobility in the profession and set standards regarding the quality of postgraduate medical training
Mervi Jokinen President of the EMA
European Midwives Association (EMA) is a non-profit and non-governmental organisation representing 40 midwifery associations from 31 countries in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA), Council of Europe and EU applicant countries. EMA is the voice of over 120.000 midwives in Europe. Our vision is to promote women’s general and reproductive health; strengthen the status and the practice of the midwifery profession; and act as a liaison with the EU, the Council of Europe and other institutions at European level.
Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary
EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC and comprises 8 million public service workers from over 260 trade unions across Europe. EPSU organises workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local, regional and central government, in all European countries including the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood. In our sectors we organise workers in the public, the non-profit, mixed and private sector including in multinational companies. It is the recognised regional organisation of Public Services International (PSI). For more information please go to: www.epsu.org.
Thierry Troosters, ERS President
The European respiratory Society (ERS) is an international organisation that brings together physicians, healthcare professionals, scientists and other experts working in respiratory medicine. It is one of the leading medical organisations in the respiratory field, with a growing membership representing over 160 countries worldwide. Its mission is to promote lung health in order to alleviate suffering from disease and drive standards for respiratory medicine globally. www.ersnet.org
Dr Joao de Deus, FEMS President
European Federation of Salaried Doctors (FEMS) groups trade unions and medical associations across Europe aiming to defend at European level the moral and material interests of doctors working under administrative subordination, to ensure these doctors and their patients the best possible level of working conditions, decent salaries, continuous professional development, diagnostic and therapeutic independence with respect to administrations, whose exclusively economic point of view can sometimes be in conflict with the principles of a quality health system and correct medicine.