About Fit for Work
This is the blog of Fit for Work Europe – a multi-stakeholder Coalition, driving policy and practice change across the work and health agendas.
We aim to deliver more investment in sustainable healthcare by promoting and implementing early intervention practices. Research shows this approach is the most effective way of ensuring people with MSDs (musculoskeletal disorders) can enter and remain in work across the EU and globally.
Here, on the FIT EU Blog you will find research-based analyses, comments and opinion pieces on health care, employment, welfare and economic policies across Europe and worldwide.
MSDs are serious, yet ignored, non-communicable diseases. Take a look at our infographic to see the impact of MSDs on sickness absence in 12 EU Countries, which represent 70% of the EU workforce.
Our aim is to change the way MSDs are always perceived as disabling conditions which prevent people from working. Our research shows that with the right support, many people with MSDs can return to work and that most people want to return to work. Our vision is to raise awareness of the facts around MSDs so that effective policies and innovative clinical practice support people with MSDs to return and stay in work. Fit for Work Europe is composed of healthcare professionals, economic experts, employers, professional medical and patient associations, national groups and international organisations. Our vision is based on robust evidence which reveals early intervention practices are the most effective way of ensuring individuals and businesses remain productive. In these difficult economic times, this approach is more important than ever for the sustainability of Europe’s health, social and economic systems.
Fit for Work Call to Action
We are calling on government leaders and international organisations to recognise the vital importance of MSDs as they devise their health and welfare policies.
The Fit for Work Coalition proposes the following recommendations be implemented across European and national governments:
>>> Ensure long-term and cross-government healthcare investment is understood as a major sustainable route to maximise the clinical, economic and societal benefits of a healthy and productive workforce;
>>> Call for and implement early clinical interventions across Europe which support job retention and return to work for individuals. This should be coordinated and prioritised in healthcare, employment and social welfare settings and in policy goals;
>>> By 2020, MSDs should be prioritised among the most harmful Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) globally due to its significant impact on morbidity, co-morbidity, lost productivity, health inequalities and social exclusion;
>>> Work ability should be a high priority clinical outcome of treatment for all patients who wish to work or need to continue to work.
“We know that a fit workforce drives economic prosperity. Spending on early diagnosis and treatment is an investment, not a cost“, says Antonyia Parvanova, MEP and Fit for Work Co-President.
Fit for Work Europe is a project led by The Work Foundation, supported by AbbVie and GE Healthcare.
You can find contact information and full details of the project at www.fitforworkeurope.eu
This blog is written by the Fit for Work members, partners and supporters. Editorial content is independent and the identity of writer is clearly indicated against each post. If you find it interesting follow @FfWEurope on Twitter and share our posts with your community. For any enquiries please contact Ioana Piscociu, Project manager, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 2079 76 35 26.