A new development and a great opportunity for the co-operative movement


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A new development and a great opportunity for the co-operative movement

TText of the monographic section, pages 46 and 47 of our Compartir magazine. We reproduce verbatim here a text written in 1985 by Dr Espriu, the founder of the co-operative healthcare movement, in which he shares the enthusiasm with which the institutions of the Espriu Foundation embraced the co-operative idea at the outset. The original text, included in the volume “Health Co-operatives” published in Barcelona, carried the by-line of Cianófilo, Dr Espriu’s pseudonym or alter ego, fondly remembered by those who had the chance over the years to read his articles in the journal Destino.

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Doctor Josep Espriu Castelló

Clearly, the “Espriu formula and way of thinking” represent a new development for the co-operative movement which, I would go so far as to suggest, should from here, without undermining its fundamental qualities, spur its grey matter into action and adapt so as to evolve over time as far as possible

I will never forget that when I suggested to a leading co-operative expert, surrounded by his technical staff, the idea that a workers’ co-operative could be set up, associated with a group of doctors in the service of Social or Collective Medicine, practised at their own private surgeries, in accordance with the formula of free choice of doctor, paid by the co-operative itself, for each professional act performed, the reaction was one of surprise and general rejection. It seemed too hard to take on board the idea of associated labour other than in a huge communal factory, performed by manual workers.

He had to be reminded that in the Bergadá district, very close by, a co-operative of weavers has been running very successfully, each of them with their loom at home, picking up the commissions assigned to each of them at the co-operative’s shared facilities and completing them if they so wish or are able. If they do not do the work, they are not paid for it and after a reasonable time the assignment is withdrawn.

“We are sure thatthe co-operative movement will not give up the mutual healthcare model, nor the concept of the doctor as insurance partner, as a form of associated labour, releasing him from his status as an


All the information in the monographic section, pages 46 an 47 of our Compartir magazine.

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