We are starting an international study of the health and care services sector in the context of occupational health and safety - with particular emphasis on changes during the COVID19 pandemic.With the meeting on September 24, we started a research project on ensuring occupational health and safety for personnel in the hospitals and care services sector in Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The period of the pandemic has highlighted the structural problems in these sectors by significantly increasing the burden of obligations, such as under-financing, organizational difficulties, staffing shortages, aging medical and care personnel and emigration. At the same time, new challenges have emerged specific to the treatment of COVID-19, such as maintaining health and safety rules related to the sanitary regime in hospitals and care facilities.
The sector's difficulties were articulated in all countries under scrutiny - in some countries, governments prepared new support policies for health protection, including in the UK. In Poland, the start of the project coincided with the protests of medical staff under the name of ‘White town’ (pl. “Białe Miasto 2.0”)
The aim of the project is to analyze the interventions of social partners to improve occupational health and safety in the hospital and care sectors in Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In particular, we focus on how the social partners coordinate interventions at national and European sector level to manage health and safety risks.
During the meeting, partners discussed the methodology and action plan of the project. The Institute of Public Affairs was represented by Dominik Owczarek, Maciej Pańków and Jan Czarzasty.
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Funding: DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission