Health cooperatives are a clear commitment to patients’ rights

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17.04.2019

Health cooperatives are a clear commitment to patients’ rights

This is according to the Managing Director of the Espriu Foundation, a Spanish organisation that represents the second largest network of health cooperatives in the world.

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European Patients’ Rights Day

The Managing Director of the Espriu Foundation, Carlos Zarco, stated that “health cooperatives constitute a health management model with a clear service vocation to patients’ rights, always placing people’s wellbeing at the centre of its activity”.

With the upcoming European Patients’ Rights Day, this Thursday 18 April, the Director of the second largest network of health cooperatives in the world highlighted the role of health cooperatives in defending patients’ rights because “they defend a ‘social medical system’ based on constant dialogue between the doctor and the patient, which grants the latter the power to make decisions, in contrast to other health management systems.”

In particular, he made reference to the 14 fundamental rights in the European Charter of Patient’s Rights, published in 2002 by the Active Citizenship Network to ensure compliance with the following rights: right to preventative measures; access; information; informed consent; freedom of choice; privacy and confidentiality; respect of the patient’s time; compliance with quality standards; security; innovation; avoiding unnecessary suffering and pain; personalised treatment; claim and right to receive compensation.

For the Director of the Espriu Foundation, the nature of the cooperatives makes them an alternative model of health organisation, where management is shared and joint for professionals and patients. In his opinion, “this shared management means that care quality and patient wellbeing are central”.“Created by and comprised of doctors, this business model presents a clear service vocation to patients because one of the features is that the profits are reinvested in new technology to improve care quality,” he said.

Rights of patients and professionals

The Espriu Foundation states that the healthcare model based on cooperativism puts people at the centre, which means not only the rights of the patients, but also those of the professionals who participate in the democratic decision making process, are respected.

The Espriu Foundation remarks that there are 100 million households around the world that have access to health services thanks to cooperatives. In Spain, the institutions making up the Espriu Foundation care for nearly 2.3 million people and have 181,303 cooperative members.

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