Healthcare cooperativism in Latin America


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Healthcare cooperativism in Latin America

Espriu Foundation Director-General, Dr Carlos Zarco, participated in the Cooperative Summit of the Americas

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Within the framework of the 6th Cooperative Summit of the Americas, which took place between the 24th and the 27th of October in Paraguay, the seminar “Cooperative health models towards regional integration” was held, aimed at analysing the benchmark healthcare experienced on the American continent.

The Director of the Fundación Espriu, doctor Carlos Zarco, opened the meeting with a speech in which he recalled that “the cooperative healthcare model is a non-profit making structure, which maintains the property of the companies for the patients, the professionals or both groups and that reinvests all the surplus in improving its capacity.”

The subsequent debate, in which Dr. Emilson Ferreira, Vice-Chairman of Unimed in Brazil, Dr. Angela Cruz, Manager of the Colombian cooperative, Coomeva and Dr. José Alves, Chairman of the Brazilian network of dentistry cooperatives, Uniodonto, revealed that the cooperative model has an extensive presence in Latin America, with large companies that are improving accessibility to the health systems and are innovating in the design and organisation of the services.

The meeting also included the presentation of projects that illustrate the capacity of health cooperatives. Dr. Ariel Bango showed the creation process of a consumer cooperative to manage a hospital in Montevideo that will give service to medical providers in Uruguay. Dr. Bethania Meléndez displayed the cooperative initiative of healthcare professionals over which she presides, which is aimed at building a hospital in Ciudad de Panamá. On the other hand, Dr. Ricardo López emphasised the work that the Federación de Entidades Solidarias de Salud has been carrying out in Argentina since 2000, promoting a supportive model of healthcare.

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