The European Junior Doctors Association (EJD) has welcomed the proposed European Union (EU) directive on the protection of persons reporting breaches of EU law and says improved conditions for ‘whistleblowing’ doctors could also lead to improvements in working conditions.
The new directive will impose the creation of safe channels for reporting concerns and give a high level of protection to whistleblowers against retaliation. The European Council adopted its position on the directive last week and will now undertake negotiations with the European Parliament on the matter.
In a statement, the EJD stressed the potential importance of the directive to employees across Europe. It said junior doctors “are a particularly vulnerable part of the workforce” given that they are mainly employed on a temporary basis and often change placement during this training. It also highlighted how junior doctors increasingly work across borders in multiple jurisdictions and face challenges as they cannot rely on a single minimum EU standard of protection.
“EJD supports the adoption of this directive as improved protection for whistleblowing doctors will, in our view, lead to significant advancements in junior doctors’ working conditions and a commensurate improvement for employees as well as in patient safety across Europe,” it said.