Representatives of 25 European Countries and Medical Organisations met on the 09th and 10th May 2014 in Debrecen, Hungary, for the Spring Meeting 2014 of the European Junior Doctors Permanent Working Group (EJD) to discuss the main issues in medical education, producing the outcomes summarised in this document.
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The Swedish Junior Doctors Organisation (SYLF) was proudly approved as a member of EJD since all criteria for a legitimate participation were met by the countries’ medical association.
The following joint statement on unpaid work during postgraduate training was completed and published:
More statements published by the EJD are available on:
European Working Time Directive – EWTD
The EJD General Assembly had the great honour of welcoming the EU commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion, László Andor. A brief speech given by the Commissioner was followed by a discussion on the European Working Time Directive. The EWTD has already improved the quality of junior doctors’ practice since its implementation. Nevertheless the commissioner agreed with the delegates that it has to be developed further in order to achieve all the goals set by the EWTD; such as protecting both patients and workers and thereby reducing the risk of medical errors.
The “No more 24h” campaign in Ireland was mentioned as an example of how hospitals can be stopped from making doctors work overtime.
EJD projects and workshops
European Medical Mobility
The website on European Medical Mobility set up by the EJD was improved and updated. The result can be seen on the official website http://www.medicalmobility.eu .
Family and Work
The working group “Pregnancy and parental leave” identified the challenges that arise when trying to balance work and family life, especially for women. It emerged that, in some countries, pregnant women need to declare their pregnancy to their employer. In the opinion of the EJD this is both an infringement on privacy, and also a potential source for discrimination.
Furthermore it was stated that there are still insufficient restrictions regarding late evenings, night shifts, long working times and hazardous working environments for pregnant women in Europe. In addition, some EU countries do not provide for enough months of maternity and paternity leave.
Further EJD work on this topic will include defining good practices and making proposals for improvements on childcare.
EJD delegates agreed on the fact that eHealth is not prominent enough in European healthcare yet. This needs to start at University level, by educating undergraduate students on eHealth in order to help them use it in their future practice.
The EJD intends to participate in the “Joint Action”, which is a project on health workforce planning and forecasting. The Hungarian medical association has already joined this project. It consists of seven packages of which three are titled as horizontal and four as core work packages.
The EJD worked on the elaboration of the idea of introducing an ePortfolio into postgraduate medical training in collaboration with other European Medical Organisations. This would intensely benefit the mobility of European Junior Doctors.
Another topic discussed was the variation in the length of undergraduate medical studies across European countries. Shorter study periods may result in medical students not being prepared enough for their future work, which may lead to them performing more medical errors.
A meeting on the topic of standards, ideas for improvement and adoption of postgraduate training structures in Europe will be organised by the EJD.