Working time, violence, dangerous substances: Health Services Trade Council discusses employment challenges in healthcare in Europe

At CESI’s last Health Services Trade Council meeting on May 17 in Podgorica, Montenegro, hosted by the Montenegrin Trade Union of Physicians (SDMCG), CESI’s affiliates representing workers in the healthcare services discussed current challenges in employment which the personnel in the sector is facing across European countries.

Under the chairmanship of Esther Reyes (SATSE, Spain) and Raffaele Donnorso (CONFSAL, Italy) and in the frame of the major trends and priorities of EU policies and strategies relating to healthcare staff representatives, the meeting participants discussed matters lying at the heart of the public healthcare staff in Europe, including the development of a forward-thinking approach to the future of healthcare and better working conditions of healthcare providers.

In this context, the application of the EU working time directive (also against the background of the latest case law of the Court of Justice of the EU on the directive), third-party violence against employees at work and health and safety problems caused by the exposure to dangerous substances were discussed.

The latter was debated on in the framework of EU-OSHA’s latest awareness-raising ‘Healthy Workplaces Campaign‘ which currently addresses the management of dangerous substances and which features CESI as an official campaign partner.

The event was preceded by a press conference on the occasion of which the general concerns of doctors and medical staff in the Balkan countries as well as the guiding principles of trade union rights and pluralism in the area were highlighted.

Speaking on behalf of the Trade Council, and underlining major challenges in the health care sector, Esther Reyes underlined the necessity to further improve working conditions and safety and health standards.

„If we want to improve public health standards, the way forward is an adequate recognition of the value of the health sector workers as well as more determined and well-targeted investments in the quality public health services“, Ms Reyes stated. “And to these belong investments in the human factor, meaning in patients and workers”, she added.

Picture: CESI’s Trade Council ‘Health Services’ in session © CESI 2018