Health co-operatives show their commitment to the social economy

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19.06.2019

Health co-operatives show their commitment to the social economy

At the 28th Assembly of the Spanish Confederation of Social Economy Enterprises. The social economy in Spain accounts for 10% of the GDP and employs over two million people.

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Picture of the 28th Assembly of the Spanish Confederation of Social Economy Enterprises

The Espriu Foundation, a Spanish network of health co-operatives that is the second largest of this business model in the world, has demonstrated its commitment to the social economy while participating in the 28th Assembly of the Spanish Confederation of Social Economy Enterprises (CEPES), which was held in Madrid on Tuesday.

The event brought together over 150 representatives from the organisations and companies of the social economy, public administrations and civil society. It was also attended by the director general of Self-employed Workers, Social Economy and CSR of the Ministry of Labour, María Antonia Pérez León, the journalist and chairman of the Civil Society of Debating, Manuel Campo Vidal, and the chairman of the ONCE Social Group, Miguel Carballeda.

The social economy sector in Spain includes over 42,000 enterprises, accounting for 10% of Spain’s gross domestic product and employing 2.5 million people.

Carlos Zarco, director of the Espriu Foundation, a network of health co-operatives that has been associated with the business confederation since 2013 and one of the current 25 members, highlights the commitment of co-operative healthcare to the social economy model.

“This alternative economic model is becoming more and more popular in Spain, and many other parts of the world have shown that it is more resistant to economic crises than other, more traditional business dynamics,” stated Zarco. In fact, according to CEPES data, job destruction in the social economy sector has been 6.5 points lower in the last eight years than in companies outside this sector.

Zarco continues: “The fundamental pillars of the social economy include commitment to the region, to employment and, in particular, to the prominence of people over capital. This formula explains the success of this business model”..

CEPES currently includes 19,954 cooperatives, in other words, 46.5% of its business network. The co-operative health model provides a third alternative to public and private healthcare. In this model, the profits are reinvested into new technologies and, therefore, into quality of care.

The network of health co-operatives represented by the Espriu Foundation has a turnover of over €1.7 billion, has over 2.2 million users and about 181,000 cooperative members.

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