Health cooperatives during covid-19 and in times of crises

An inspiring online conversation about «Health Cooperatives during COVID-19 and in times of crises» took place on 17 June hosted by IHCO and ICA as part of the initiative The Cooperative Way.

Featured speakers from India, Cameroon, Colombia, Spain and Italy discussed how their health cooperatives faced the covid-19 pandemic and what are the actions they put in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and relieve the related economic and social consequences.

In Spain, Espriu’s cooperatives reorganised their healthcare services to be able to treat close to 12,000 covid-19 patients, explained its Director-General Carlos Zarco. «More than 2,600 covid-19 patients have been admitted in the cooperative’s hospitals, where they had the priority because all non-urgent interventions and medical consultations were postponed or remotely attended to by a new telemedicine system,» Zarco said.

President of Cameroon’s Health Cooperatives Association explained that Sodimess and Sante Assurée cooperatives led an awareness campaign to help the public stay safe during the pandemic, and distributed masks and sanitisers to refugees at the Minawao camp.

Alessia Bellino from Gulliver Cooperative Sociale in Italy shared how her cooperative managed to quickly redesign its operations and safety procedures, which resulted in zero cases of covid-19 in its senior care homes.

Mirai Chatterjee shared how was the response of India’s SEWA. They trained 750 frontline women workers in prevention measures and provided 21,000 health kits with masks to people in the community. The cooperative also offered mental health support to COVID-19 patients to help them cope with the stigma around the pandemic.

In Colombia, Gilberto Quinche explained that Coomeva established a covid-19 hotline and revised its long-term strategic plan, increasing emphasis on providing telemedicine and new technology to provide health services.

The full conversation is available in this video: