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Public health sector unions and deregulation in Europe

Public health sector unions and deregulation in Europe

Lethbridge, Jane ORCID: 0000-0002-0094-9967 (2004) Public health sector unions and deregulation in Europe. International Journal of Health Services, 34 (3). pp. 435-452. ISSN 0020-7314 (doi:

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Deregulation and liberalization of health services take several forms in Europe: public-private partnerships; contracting out of services; and corporatization of health care institutions. The impact on health workers includes changes in terms and conditions of employment, breakup of collective bargaining agreements, and often more stressful working conditions. The author examines four types of trade union responses to deregulation. National health trade union action has used campaigning, awareness raising, and judicial review. Health workers' unions in alliance with other trade unions have taken part in wider campaigns against privatization and in promoting public services. Health workers' unions joining with social movements have become involved in wider alliances that link with broader public policy issues such as poverty reduction and urban/regional regeneration. European-wide action, seen through the work of the European Federation of Public Service Unions, has concentrated on the development of an alternative health policy, and the promotion of social dialogue at a European level. Trade unions must adopt a range of approaches to challenge the effects of deregulation. Increasingly, trade union members need to be aware of how to take action at both the national and European levels.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: deregulation, liberalisation, Europe, health workers, unions
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2020 16:16

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