PWG Spring Meeting 2009

PWG Spring Meeting 2009
Friday, 12. June 2009
Brussels (Belgium)

Representatives of 20 European Countries met on the 12th and 13th of June in Brussels, Belgium, in the Spring Meeting of the Permanent Working Group of European Junior Doctors (PWG) to discuss the main issues in medical training producing the extremely grateful amount of outcomes summarised in this document.

July 2009
Copyright 2009 © The Permanent Working Group of European Junior Doctors (PWG)
Free citation allowed


New President

Bernardo Pinto (PT) was elected PWG president for the following three-year term. On behalf of the PWG, we would not only like to congratulate Bernardo Pinto for his election, but also thank Rui Guimarães (PT) for his outstanding efforts as PWG President for the last 4 years, wishing all the best to both!


e-Domus Medica website

The PWG, on behalf of the European Medical Organisations (EMO), has recently created the e-Domus Medica website. At this link, European Doctors can find more information on the main issues concerning medical training and practise. Furthermore, the website unites in one space information of all EMOs and their latest outcomes. The e-Domus Medica was officially launched during the Joint-EMO meeting on the 11th of June in Brussels.

Common EMO meeting

Just before the PWG Spring Meeting, the EMO Executive Committees decided to meet for the first time together to discuss the future of the collaboration between each organisation. The following statement resulted of this fruitful meeting:

After the election of the new European Parliament and before the constitution of the new Commission the undersigned representatives of the European Medical Organisations inform you that they had a common meeting in Brussels on the 11th of June 2009.

Considering that the current economic and financial crisis will also have negative consequences for the healthcare sector, the physicians in the European Union, represented by the undersigned associations, continue to offer their specific expertise to the European decision makers to find patient-orientated solutions in the healthcare sector.

A committee composed of all Presidents of the European Medical Organisations promotes the establishment of an alliance of doctors and medical students in Europe.

Each organization will contribute to this unified approach according to their specific expertise defending the interests of all EU-citizens.

PWG EMM website launched

The pilot version of the EuroMedMobility (EMM) is now available. This database compiles the information necessary to all doctors that wish to train in a European Country, thus promoting the harmonisation of medical training in Europe.

Humanitarian work

For the first time in PWG, a working group focused on the study of sustainable humanitarian projects was created and included in the Postgraduate training (PGT) subcommittee.

Telemedicine and teleradiology

Telemedicine and teleradiology are becoming increasingly important in daily medical practice. This has profound implications in patient care and PGT. The European Health Services Directive will strongly regulate the field and already addresses various issues such as electronic substitutes for direct patient encounter, how patient records be made accessible remotely, legal pathways for this access and electronic certificates, amongst others. The main concerns towards PGT is the effect this technology may have on training, the insufficient exposure to junior doctors, additional workload during call hours, legal responsibilities of junior doctors, assessment of clinical course and the possibility of an incomplete learning experience.

PWG adopted a paper on this matter and believes that it is essential to raise awareness on this topic.


The European working time directive

Parliament and Council could not find a compromise on three crucial points: the opt-out, on-call time and multiple contracts. This is the first time that no agreement could be reached at the Conciliation stage since the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty which significantly extended the scope of the co-decision procedure.

The Conciliation Committee, composed of delegations from Parliament and Council, decided that it was not possible to reach an agreement.

This is the first time that no agreement could be found via conciliation since the Amsterdam Treaty which significantly extended the scope of the co-decision procedure. During next week’s plenary session, Vice-President Mechtild Rothe will make a statement which will be followed by a debate.

Since there is no agreement, the current directive remains into force, though the Commission can draft a new proposal from scratch. Such new legislation would need to take account the rulings of the European Court of Justice on-call time

It was decided to monitor any developments arising within the EU and lobby accordingly, but to proactively lobby national ministers and MEPs (many who have no previous experience with EWTD or health care) also.

There is no confirmed data on the degree of application of the EWTD 48-hour week or available scientific evidence on the impact of it on the quality of PGT. This data is of paramount importance in the discussions made with the political class. In the UEMS Council meeting 2008 April in Brussels, Dr. Cillian Twomey (IE) challenged the PWG and the UEMS PGT WG to work together in order to determine the effect of the application of the 48-hour week on the quality of PGT.

During the UEMS PGT WG meeting October 2008 in Copenhagen, it was decided that the WG supports this project and that the chairpersons should work together.

European medical manpower

The PWG has decided to study the demography and manpower of the European Medical Doctors and presented its preliminary results during the joint European Medical Organisations' (EMOs). This project follows the PWG manpower study published in 1996, most likely becoming one of the most important studies in recent times steered by Junior Doctors and it is expected to have a significant impact in policy and decision making. Several others EMOs have already given their support to this project and are expected to give their contribution.

PGT in private health care facilities

Privatization of Health Care is undoubtedly advancing in European Countries taking a crescent share of the medical resources available. Instead of be looked upon with general mistrust, the aspiration of private health care companies to organise PGT in their facilities, can be perceived as an opportunity to increase quality standards for all training programmes. The Permanent Working Group of European Junior Doctors strongly recommends that:
1. General statement
PGT should follow the same general regulation irrespective of the system where it takes place: Private or Public.
2. Regulation and quality assurance
The same legal setting, regulatory body and quality assurance tools should be applied for all PGT programmes.
3. Assessment
Assessment methodology to PGT should be the same despite of the irrespective of the system where it takes place.
4. PGT centres
All PGT centres should comply with the recommendations stated in the PGT Policy on Visitations to PGT Centres.
5. Salary
National-wide negotiation of salary should take place. An adequate basic payment should be the same for the same amount of work regardless of the system.

Statutes changes

Please find the new version of the PWG statutes in the Documents section of the PWG website. This revision changes the previous version of the statutes which were adopted in Germany, in1996.

New members

The Lithuanian and Georgian delegations presented their application as a PWG member, which were unanimously accepted. Furthermore, the Russian delegation stated that they intended to apply for PWG application in 2010 and thanked PWG’s the cooperation and invitation.