Delegates of health cooperatives from eleven countries took part in the General Assembly of the IHCO on 28 October. Because of covid-19, the organisation moved the gathering online.
«This has been a difficult year, especially for our sector,» lamented IHCO President Carlos Zarco, but the resilience to crises that cooperatives have shown over the years, and the current context of transformation provide health cooperatives «new opportunities to expand,» he added.
Dr Zarco also sent out a message of solidarity to those affected by the coronavirus and expressed a «well-deserved recognition to all those healthcare professionals who over the months have focused all their effort, commitment and dedication to addressing the health emergency.»
Member’s delegates detailed what the challenges are in dealing every day with the health emergency, and exchanged the lessons learned during past months struggling with the pandemic.
The assembly approved the President’s report and the financial statements. Delegates designed the work plan for next year as well. The organisation will focus on raise awareness of the potential contributions of the cooperative business model to health systems and facilitate inter-cooperation among members. It will aim at becoming a knowledge hub as well, collecting, producing and sharing information about health cooperatives.
The covid-19 pandemic has brought health services and healthcare workers into sharp focus. It has also brought to the forefront the continued challenges the developed world faces to meet the increasing needs of an ageing population, and healthcare inequity that low-income countries face as they struggle to expand health coverage.
Health cooperatives are uniquely positioned to help countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3, which aims to «ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages», and improving universal health coverage.
The role of cooperatives in health provision is given special attention at the United Nations, as the Secretary-General submitted the report «Cooperatives in social development» to the 74th session of the General Assembly.
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.
After coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was identified, the World Health Organisation declared the related coronavirus disease covid-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Some days later it became a Pandemic. Since then, the outbreak has spread to almost all countries and has led governments to take severe measures to slow down the dynamics of the pandemic.
In these difficult times, the International Health Cooperative Organisation wants to extend its support and solidarity to all those who are suffering the disease. Our thoughts are with all those who have lost a loved one. Continue reading →
IHCO joins the World Health Organisation, WHO, the Alliance for Health Promotion and the global health community in urging governments at the climate negotiations in Madrid’s COP25 to turn words into action and start implementing measures to incorporate health into the COP agenda, as foreseen by the Paris Agreement. Continue reading →