Argentina’s health co-operatives march towards integration

Integration to guarantee the future. That was the watchword of the forum staged on 3 August in Buenos Aires by FAESS, the Argentine Federation of Solidarity Health Entities, within the context of the 2012 Argentine Co-operatives Congress. Argentina’s health co-operatives lent their support at the event to the creation of a network for the social economy, while also opposing a strategy to reverse the situation in which recent laws passed in the South American country have left them. The new landscape proposed in the Prepaid Medicine Regulation Act has not won over solidarity-based health organisations, who do not feel they should be treated the same as commercial health firms. They believe that the legal essence, corporate purpose and more than 2 and a half million users of such services are fundamentally different from those of commercial enterprises, and will therefore call for the law to be repealed.

FAESS President Ricardo López at Buenos Aires

FAESS President Ricardo López at Buenos Aires

The president of the FAESS, and Board Member at the International Health Co-operatives Organisation (IHCO), Ricardo López announced that the sector was working towards the creation of Unisol (Solidarity Union Network). This network would be “a collective safety net” providing greater protection than a federation, and would serve to extend prevention campaigns and offer an improved service to those individuals overlooked by commercial healthcare. “How many commercial enterprises engage in prevention? We form no part of the sickness business,” asserted Dr. López.

The forum was attended by Dr. José Carlos Guisado, Espriu Foundation’s Trustee and IHCO’s President, who explained the current situation of the co-operative health model in Spain and its connection with public health.

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