Centenary of the birth of Dr Espriu


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Centenary of the birth of Dr Espriu

Josep Espriu Castelló was born in Santa Coloma de Farners in 1914. The family move to Barcelona, because of his father’s work as a notary, his own calling as a doctor and subsequent medical studies, the mark left by the Civil War on the family, his work as a doctor very much aware of the relationship with patients, all served to prepare Dr Espriu to be the instigator of a highly ambitious project: health co-operativism.

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Begun in Barcelona with the creation of Assistència Sanitària Col.legial in 1957, followed by the doctors’ co-operative Autogestió Sanitària, and later spread across Spain through the creation of ASISA and the Lavínia co-operative of doctors, Dr Espriu’s project was crowned by the creation of the SCIAS medical users’ co-operative, the owner of Barcelona Hospital, and the creation of the network of hospitals and clinics managed by ASISA. Over the years, the various co-operative bodies born out of the conviction, drive and tenacity of Dr Espriu came together to create the Espriu Foundation, which was to promote the co-operative healthcare ideal around the globe. The Espriu Foundation created and chaired the International Health Co-operatives Organisation as a branch within the International Co-operative Alliance.

This year we celebrate the centenary of the birth of Dr Espriu and, by a happy coincidence of calendars, the centenary will also coincide with the anniversaries celebrated by initiatives linked to his project. Hospital de Barcelona, for example, will be marking 25 years as an international benchmark among co-operative hospitals, while Hospital Moncloa, the flagship of the ASISA project, turns 20. The celebrations also coincide with the golden jubilee of Vistahermosa Clinic in Alicante, which ASISA has managed since 1989.

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