Assistència Sanitària, a group of health co-operatives of the Fundación Espriu’s network, has received the Josep Trueta Award from the Regional Government of Catalonia (Spain). This award recognises the services provided by Assistència Sanitària and its significant contribution to improving healthcare. These are the highest honours in Catalonia in the health sector, established by the regional government in 1997.
The government acknowledges through this award the co-operative healthcare model, highlighting the foundational purpose of Assistència Sanitària to «guarantee that the health problems of insured are addressed within a health care system allowing for dialogue between doctors and patients on equal terms». Headed by two co-operatives (one for doctors and one for users), the organisations that make up Assistència Sanitària are inspired by the free and voluntary association of individuals.
Founded in 1957, the Assistència Group now has 5,000 doctors who provide their services voluntarily, 200,000 users and 1,100 employees. The group keeps alive the legacy of Dr Espriu (1914-2002), the creator of the co-operative health movement in Spain.
Commenting on the Awards, Dr Ignacio Orce, president of Assistència Sanitària, said: “It spurs us on to continue doing things well, always at the side of doctors and in collaboration with users, through initiatives which encourage the continuous training of professionals, guaranteeing the enhancement of their employment prospects and of the health care system as a whole”.