The health cooperative movement in Spain and worldwide


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The health cooperative movement in Spain and worldwide

On 3 October the book «The Social Economy in the Mediterranean» was presented, including over 500 pages of analysis and opinions contributed by some fifty representatives of the Spanish government, European institutions, international organisations, business leaders and experts in the Social Economy, including Espriu Foundation CEO Carlos Zarco.

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The book, published by the Cajamar savings bank and coordinated by Juan Antonio Pedreño, President of the CEPES (Spanish Social Economy Enterprise Confederation) constitutes a wide-ranging compendium of the capabilities, scale and potential of Social Economy enterprises.

«The Social Economy in the Mediterranean» includes chapters setting out the opinions of figures such as the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez; the General Secretary of the Partido Popular, Teodoro García Ejea; government minister Magdalena Valerio; former minister Fátima Báñez; and the President of the International Cooperative Alliance, Ariel Guarco.

Dr  Zarco contributed to the publication in the form of the chapter entitled «The health cooperative movement in Spain and worldwide», detailing the origins of health cooperatives in Spain, the development of the igualatorio mutual system, the impact of cooperatives on pharmaceutical distribution, along with references to the leading healthcare cooperatives and mutuals operating in Spain today.

Among the most notable pages of this chapter are those focused on the model set up by Dr Josep Espriu in the 1950s, which has evolved into the two major healthcare groups we know today, ASISA and Assistència Sanitaria, which belong to the cooperatives that make up the Espriu Foundation.

The Espriu Foundation's director likewise highlights how wide-ranging the cooperative healthcare movement is around the world today. This section features such key figures as the fact that close on 100 million households worldwide have access to health services thanks to cooperatives, and that this enterprise model features in the health systems of 76 countries.

All the authors agree in their appreciation of the Social Economy as a form of enterprise which, without overlooking competitiveness and innovation, places people at the heart of its activities, helping to generate solutions to current social, economic and environmental challenges.

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