Cooperatives in Social Development: Towards Universal Healthcare

From 21 to 23 May, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNDESA, organised the workshop entitled «Cooperatives in Social Development: Towards Universal Healthcare», aimed at analysing the challenges of cooperatives in the healthcare sector and the role they can play as a tool for development in low- and middle-income countries. IHCO participated in the meeting providing the experience of its members and explaining the benefits and the opportunities that cooperatives have in the health domain.

In the three-day meeting hosted by the Istanbul Aydin University, experts from several countries discussed on the work done by the United Nations on promoting the cooperative business model and how cooperatives’ concern for community and sustainability ensures its suitability for achieving the Agenda 2030 and specifically the Sustainable Development Goal 3 related to health and well-being.

IHCO President Carlos Zarco presented examples of leading health cooperatives around the world and stated that «health cooperatives are a reality in the health system of numerous countries; they may take different organisational forms and carry on various activities but always have one common goal: to improve citizens’ health and healthcare professionals’ working conditions.»

Workshop conclusions and recommendations will contribute to the UN Secretary-General Report on “Cooperatives in Social Development” which looks at the role of cooperatives in advancing social progress with a thematic focus on healthcare.