Health Care Workers' Insecurities in Eastern Europe

(A joint ILO/Public Services International Project)
WHY Responding to a request from the Public Services International Trade Secretariat (PSI), IFP/SES has initiated a project to examine the impact of privatisation on the security of workers in the health sector. The project is conducted and funded through IFP/SES and PSI, with collaboration from the ILO Bureau for Workers' Activities and the ILO Sectoral Activities Department.
WHAT Through the PSI affiliates around CEE, the project is examining the main threats to workers' security and what the ILO, trade unions and other institutions can do in trying to protect the security of workers during this period of transition in CEE.

More specifically, the project aims to answer the following questions:

  • To what extent is job insecurity increasing among workers in the health care sector?
  • How can work insecurity be tackled given increases in other forms of insecurity?
  • Are workers who are rendered unemployed by privatization in the health care industries able to find other areas in the labour market which can offer them employment?
  • What impact is the privatization trend creating to further increase levels of income insecurity, skill reproduction insecurity, and employment insecurity of workers in the health care sector?
  • What is the reality of 'social dialogue' when it comes to representing health service employees in CEE countries?
  • What are the main threats to workers in health care?
  • What do trade union ss well as official representatives actually do in terms of trying to defend their members' interests in the privatisation environment?
  • What constraints do they face in day-to-day terms and in the wider political and policy arenas?
WHERE In addition to investigating the scope of the issues in all CEE countries, the project is also conducting in-depth country studies in Romania, Lithuania, Ukraine and Czech Republic, collecting broad-based responses on their present situation from workers and employers in the health sector in the four countries.
CONTACT Ellen Rosskam, E:mail:

Updated by LD. Approved by GS. Last update: 13 November 2003.