Sectoral focus: health

29 May 2014

Remembering Dr. Espriu, a passionate promoter of health co-operatives

This year we commemorate the hundredth anniversary of Dr. Josep Espriu’s birth. He promoted a veritable revolution in doctor-patient relationships. As a young physician, he observed the bad conditions under which health care was provided in public hospitals in Spain, and the faulty conditions in which medical professionals were forced to work. After an intensive search, he built a healthcare cooperative model that quickly spread all over Spain and is now a source of inspiration on an international scale.

25 years ago, Fundación Espriu became the common place of health cooperatives in Spain that followed Dr. Josep Espriu’s ideas. Since the beginning under the leadership of Dr. Espriu, Fundación Espriu had a strong international vocation and, together with Brazilian and Japanese health cooperatives, set up International Health Co-operative Organisation as a sector of the International Co-operative Alliance.

Today, Fundación Espriu provides health services to 2 million people and work to more than 32,500 health professionals.

Brazilian health cooperative Unimed renew its strategy

Unimed do Brasil reviewed strategy guidelines containing basics like cooperative’s Mission, Vision and Values. Further to its new Strategic Map that visually proves the challenges it will have to overcome to achieve its goals.

The Strategic Map main theme is to reach Unimed System sustainability. It is divided in two parts: Institutional Map and Organizational Map, which join into Mission, Vision and Values to complete the general overview.

The institutional part approaches how the System wants to be perceived both by the sector and customers, highlighting initiatives like “guarantying national care of Unimed customers in a wide and qualified network”, “rigorously zeal for the use of the Unimed Brand in the domestic market” and “promoting human and organizational development of the Unimed System”.

The Organizational Map already indicates internal goals such as “to establish mechanism that makes Unimed sustainability viable”, “to optimize the organizations’ operational and organizational costs” and “to build and implement a people management model that recognises and values the organization’s talent”.

Unimed do Brasil Mission is to integrate the Unimed System strengthening cooperative values and given value to the medical work. The Vision, to be a reference in health. Lastly, the Values are: cooperation; ethics and transparency; commitment to life; excellence; innovation; commitment to the cooperated, collaborators, customer and society; and sustainability.

Health Co-ops and Mutuals at the Geneva Health Forum

Under the leadership of the Hospitals of Geneva and University of Geneva’s Faculty of Medicine, since 2006, the Geneva Health Forum has been organised every two years to provide an opportunity for a better understanding of the complex issues of health in an interconnected world. Based in Geneva, it is also a unique occasion to network with international agencies located in this City such as the World Health Organization.

For the 2014 event, on April 16, the International Summit of Cooperatives organized a workshop on the contribution of health co-ops and health mutuals for the improvement of access to health services. Moderated by Jean-Pierre Girard, an international specialist of such organizations, the workshop welcomed 5 panellists offering insights into the broad range contributions of the co-op and mutual model in the health sector: Rüdiger Krech, director, Office of the Assistant Director-General, Health Systems and Innovation, WHO, Vanessa Hammond, Chair of the Health Care Co-operatives Federation of Canada, Toshinori Ozeki, Vice President of Japanese Health and Welfare Co-operative Federation, Laurent Magnant, General Secretary of Harmonie (France) and Silvia Frezza, Executive Director of FederazioneSanità Confcooperative (Italy).

Photo: Dr. Espriu



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