The Espriu Foundation takes part in #Coopsday and celebrates the decent work that drives the co-operative model


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The Espriu Foundation takes part in #Coopsday and celebrates the decent work that drives the co-operative model

This Saturday, 6 July, the 96th edition of International Co-operative Day is celebrated in tandem with the 25th anniversary of its recognition by the UN as the United Nations International Day of Co-operatives. This year, the backdrop for commemorating this day is SDG No. 8: inclusive development and decent work.

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Picture of the 96th edition of International Co-operative Day

The Espriu Foundation, the world’s second largest health co-operative network, takes part in commemorating International Co-operative Day, celebrated each year on the first Saturday of July. As a private non-profit organisation that aims to promote, disseminate and develop cooperative healthcare, the Espriu Foundation – which served a total of 2.2 million people in Spain in 2017 – lends its support to this day, whose focus this year is inclusive development and decent work.

With the goal of invoking and asserting the role of cooperatives as the exemplary model of sustainable companies, this year's celebration of International Co-operative Day aims to highlight the achievements of the international cooperative movement and its contribution to resolving the main issues tackled by the United Nations.

In this sense, the International Co-operative Alliance and the United Nations have been coming together since 1995 to celebrate this day together with a unique theme each year.

The main theme of this year's celebration is Sustainable Development Goal No. 8: ‘Inclusive development and decent work’, which aims to ‘promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’.

The contribution from health co-operatives

The Espriu Foundation, the second-largest healthcare management entity of its kind in the world, defends the suitability of the co-operative model for the healthcare sector and points out that one of the advantages offered by the co-operative model is its democratic system based on the ‘one person, one vote’ principle, as well as the primacy of people over economic capital.

Furthermore, the foundation points out that ‘co-operatives bring about a model of sustainable social medicine that allows interested parties to provide maximum quality care to patients, on the one hand, and fair conditions for healthcare professionals to practice their vocation, on the other’.

Carlos Zarco, Managing Director of the Espriu Foundation, states:

A co-operative is the ideal solution for both considerations; on the one hand, because they pool their resources, patients have access to high quality service and, on the other hand, due to the non-profit nature of this model, doctors can practice their activity under exclusively medical criteria without having to worry about attaining the maximum financial profit.

Zarco also points out that the member entities of the Espriu Foundation – Autogestió Sanitària SCCL, Lavínia SCoop, Instalaciones Asistenciales Sanitarias Scias SCCL and Asisa – are worldwide leaders on the path towards the universalisation of healthcare, because they are managed under a much more sustainable business model that prioritises human development and social justice in the workplace.

According to data from the International Co-operative Alliance, 100 million homes around the world have access to the healthcare thanks to the more than 3,300 co-operatives in the health field.


The celebration of International Co-operative Day – a trending topic on Twitter last year – is boosted by a special logo and the classic #Coopsday hashtag for the occasion, among other elements. In addition, the International Co-operative Alliance, which represents 1.2 billion members of co-operatives, has created an interactive world map that will show the different activities carried out by the organisations in commemoration of the day.

All the information related to International Co-operative Day can be consulted here.

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