Sustainability of the Unimed system discussed at XXI SUECO

The aim of the Simposio de Unimeds del Centro-Oeste y Tocantins, the 21st edition of which was held in Cuiabá, the capital of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, was to debate and exchange ideas about the sustainability of the Unimed co-operative system.

Some 400 co-operative members, experts and political leaders took part in the event, which addressed such challenges as the rising costs of health plan management, the interference suffered by co-operatives, the impact on the sector of increasing judicial involvement, and governance. “The current challenges reflect the impositions on our co-operatives. They are essential actions and sound strategies which tackle the recovery of the cooperative,” emphasised Dr Fares Kamil Hussein, the President of the Mato Grosso Unimed Federation.

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During the symposium, an international panel likewise discussed various co-operative experiences and their relationship with education. “Co-operative education has the aim of achieving transformation, as the basis for sustainable economic and social development,” according to the President of the OCB (Organisation of Brazilian

One of the panels addressed the sustainability of the supplementary health system, with the President of Unimed and Vice-President of the IHCO, Dr Eudes de Freitas Aquino, explaining that Unimed co-operatives treat 25% of Brazil’s population. Dr Aquino likewise emphasised the credibility of the system. “We are the 21st most recognised brand in the country, a position achieved thanks to the excellence of our services,” he said, recalling the efforts made to comply with the demanding requirements of the ANS (National Health Agency). “We must have the freedom required by the co-operative movement, and must maintain a healthy relationship between regulator and regulated”.