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(via videoconference)

Tackling multiple challenges for healthcare workers


EUROFEDOP Liaison Office
Fischerstiege 9, 1010 Vienna (Austria)

By Bert Van Caelenberg, the European Federation of Employees in Public Services (EUROFEDOP)

With the organisation of the Trade Council Health Services, Eurofedop wants to put emphasis on the issues that are currently of particular importance to the workforce of this public service sector. Health care workers are standing in the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus and are facing a particularly stressful and mentally very demanding phase in their career.

There are three main topics that we want to raise the discussion on during our meeting of the trade council health services: Covid-19 and its effects on health care staff, demographics and migration in the health care sector. The pandemic has not only shown that understaffing is a continuing issue in the health care sector in many European countries, but it has also underlined the need for urgently addressing the problems of demographic imbalances and the worrying migration of health care workers.

Another issue that we want to discuss is the new EU4Health Programme that the EU starts this year. The EU has recognised the need for making national health care systems more capable of responding adequately to health care crises and wants to provide them with the necessary tools to achieve that aim. In particular, we want to find out how trade unions can participate in the EU programme.

The meeting will focus on the following points:

  • Structural challenges in the European healthcare sector and the functioning of healthcare services in extreme situations – mapping concrete mechanisms and strategies for a common European approach
  • Strengthen health systems and the health care workforce and addressing important long-term challenges for health systems – the EU4Health Programme of the European Commission
  • Harnessing the momentum – should we increase EU competences on public health?
  • How to speak with one voice in the name of European healthcare workers? Mapping concrete mechanisms and strategies for successful trade union work at the European level
  • The future of healthcare systems – how can health care trade unions act together on the European level?
  • The future of healthcare systems – transforming European health care with innovative solutions and empowering the healthcare workforce
  • Structural challenges in the healthcare sector following the COVID-crisis – a synthesis of problems to be tackled from the national perspective

Finally, Eurofedop underlines the importance for health care workers to speak with one voice in Europe and wants to convince national health care trade unions of the advantages to join with that aim its organisation.

Contact person for additional information: Judith Hamburg-Madani, Policy Adviser EUROFEDOP,