Governance, sustainability and identity: the activity areas of the IHCO

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24.10.2014

Governance, sustainability and identity: the activity areas of the IHCO

The growing visibility being enjoyed by health co-operatives as an innovative model for the provision of health services was one of the main issues discussed at the meeting of the Board of the International Health Co-operatives Organisation (IHCO) held on 7 October in Quebec. “Health co-operatives are exploding” according to José Carlos Guisado, the President of the organisation, “the movements in different parts of the world, including Columbia, Nepal and the United Kingdom, demonstrate the rediscovery of a consolidated health model which has in some countries proved a success for more than 50 years”.

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The delegates at the meeting, representing 10 countries, debated the possibilities for inter-cooperation among different organisations, and established the working plan for the year 2015, with the aim of raising to a new level the participation of members and the governance of health co-operatives, positioning them as tools for sustainability, consolidating their identity, ensuring legal frameworks which support their growth, and improving the management of capital.

Social Needs, Co-operative AnswersThe event also provided the opportunity to present two major projects. Following the conference staged in September in Cape Town, which provided evidence of numerous examples of co-operatives which address aspects of general interest not covered by the provision of the public sector or traditional private enterprises, a campaign was devised under the title , with the aim of employing a range of digital platforms to showcase the fact that co-operatives represent the most important expression of the needs and aspirations of citizens in the form of enterprise, and that they have emerged through a natural process to offer appropriate solutions so as to satisfy the needs of communities worldwide.

The study Better Health & Social Care was likewise presented, co-sponsored by the IHCO, and revealing that at least 81 million people worldwide make use of the health services provided by the 4961 co-operatives researched in 43 countries.

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