Health Care Co-operatives: National and International Perspectives (Conference Report)

Co-operatives play an important role in health care delivery in Canada and overseas.

While Saskatchewan experiences these organizations as comprehensive primary care clinics governed by their members, co-operatives internationally own hospitals, sell insurance and operate long-term care facilities.

What do these international co-operatives look like? How did they develop? In what kinds of public policy contexts do they operate, and what are the outcomes?

Domestically, how do our own co-ops compare?  What opportunities exist and what kinds of public policies are required to realize the full potential of this model?

On October 30th, 2008, the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan and the Community Health Co-operative Federation hosted representatives of the International Health Co-operative Organization of the International Co-operative Alliance for a one-day symposium on the role of co-operatives in health care delivery.

Presentations on international health co-operatives, which are summarized in this report, include the following:

  •  Health Co-operatives Around the World
  •  Japanese Co-operatives in Japan and the Nagano Health Co-operative
  •  Health Co-operatives in Spain

Presentations on North American health co-operatives, also summarized in this report, include the following:

  •  Health Care Co-operatives in the United States and Canada
  •  Co-operative Clinics in Saskatchewan:  Their Evolving Role in Primary Health Care
  •  Does Governance Matter?  Innovation in Saskatchewan Community Clinics, 1962 – Present
  • User Participation and Quality of Home Support Services
  • Looking Ahead: Public Policy and Co-operative Health Care

This event was attended by health care administrators, practitioners, policy makers, researchers, and students. Groups from Québec and Japan, participating in a separate study tour of Saskatchewan health care co-operatives also attended the conference.

Funding for the conference was generously provided by the Co-operators, the Co-operative’s Secretariat, the University of Saskatchewan, the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, the Canadian Co-operative Association, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Saskatoon Community Clinic Foundation and the International Co-operative Health Organization.

Creator - Author(s) Name and Title(s): 
Catherine Leviten-Reid
Jean-Pierre Girard
Nobumasa Kitajima and Miwako Takato
José Carlos Guisado del Toro
Jean-Pierre Girard
Anne Doucette
Brett Fairbairn
Greg Marchildon
Publication Information: 
An International Conference, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 30 October 2008
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Publisher Information: 
Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan


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