The Director of the Espriu Foundation, Carlos Zarco, newly-elected President of the International Health Co-operative Organisation

The Director of the Espriu Foundation, Carlos Zarco, has been appointed President of the International Health Co-operative Organisation (IHCO) during the General Assembly held in Kuala Lumpur.

All other board members set to work alongside Zarco over the next four years (2018-2021) on the council benches were also appointed. The appointed board members are: Ricardo López, FAES, Argentina (Vice President); Toshinori Ozeki, Japanese Health and Welfare Co-operative Federation, Japan (Vice President); Jagdev Singh Deo, doctor at Koperasi Malaysia Berhad, Malaysia (Board Member); Adrian Watts, National Health Co-operative, Australia (Board Member).

The Director of the Espriu Foundation has expressed his satisfaction at being elected the new president and has assured that “my priority is to involve the highest possible number of members in the work of the IHCO, because diversity in terms of experiences enriches us all”. In this respect, he has explained that Colombian and Philippine health co-operatives have joined as new members.

Up until now, Doctor Zarco held the position of First Vice President of the organisation, whose main objective is to promote the development of health co-operatives. The IHCO currently consists of 14 organisations, including the Espriu Foundation, which was in fact one of the founding organisations.

Professional experience

Carlos Zarco has a medical degree from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). In 2002, he was appointed Quality Coordinator at Moncloa University Hospital, a position that was followed by others, such as Admissions Coordinator, Medical Assistant and eventually Medical Director, the position he currently holds.

Attention should also be drawn to his work in the educational field, as Doctor Zarco lectures at the postgraduate level at different Spanish universities. Furthermore, Zarco is a member of the Bioethics Committee of ASISA, the Quality Committee of Grupo Hospitalario HLA ASISA, and was a member of the B20 Health Initiative between January and June 2017.

Prevention of chronic diseases

During the General Assembly of the International Health Co-operative Organisation, representatives from the 14 entities reflected on the steps to be followed to address the various challenges that are arising in today’s world relating to the health sector. In other words, those related mainly to the ageing of the population and the growing divide between rich and poor.

Representatives agreed that it is “vital” to prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure in order to reduce the need for secondary healthcare. Similarly, the representatives emphasized the importance of including health co-operatives on the agenda of governments, as they feel that co-operatives are part of the solution to the challenges ahead in sustaining national healthcare services.