Health is a right of public nature, a common good, not a state or a corporative one – it belongs to us all! – that we have the duty to promote.
Health’s selfmanagement is a fair and necessary aspiration for the whole of society that demands actions to develop health centers measuring up to this goal. Health can not be a business, therefore neither our consciousness can be merchandise at the service of states, the pharmaceutical industry and the rest of the health system.
We can not disregard the significant struggle that’s taking place at the core of the public health sector against the track that the ones in power have taken towards the profitability of health through the restructuring of public into private. Nevertheless, the struggle must be not only for the recovering of employment or a privatizad hospital. We are in need of another health, a new paradigm concerning health that opens the way for the development of a health system outside the hegemonic model. Cooperative public health emerges from the historical foundations of the popular movement in defense of health as a right.
1.-Who are we?
We are and take part into the Cooperativa Integral Catalana (Catalonian Integral Cooperative). The idea that we promote is linked with the emancipation from capitalism in order to get out of the systemic dependence and be self-sufficient in all aspects of life.
2.-How do we see health?
Health is a social and cultural construction. “Illness and health” are two concepts defined by man in his attempt of explaining phenomena that goes beyond his understanding.
Making use of this paradigm, they led us to believe that we are not capable of keeping our health in an autonomous way: which is nothing but a way of control and authority. Life is an individual experience. Each cell of our body has the necessary information to keep this life, it is life in itself. That`s why it is so important that we go back to listening to and connecting with this natural intelligence; it is essential that we free ourselves from the oppression to which we are submitted in order to achieve a status of independence and freedom that allows us to selfmanage our lives.
Health is, to us, the very existence lived with the necessary freedom and responsibility to develope the human essence.
3.-Which is our aim?
To eliminate the idea that illness and health are conditions and to build a society that relates life style straight with quality of life.
4.-Which is the strategy that we follow?
An integral revolution, a conscious transformation at all levels (political, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, ethical, economic,...)
Walking towards this transformation, we take part in the process of the Cooperativa Integral Catalana, a proposal of transition towards the construction of a model of society based on self-management in all aspects of life as a way of covering the basic material and inmaterial needs of every person and where, for this reason, health plays an important role.
5.-The allopathic hegemonic sanitary system: health, medicine and sanitary care.
We are nowadays living what is known as “the crisis of public health care”, under which we can clearly identify the failure of the reductionist hegemonic state model. Its corporative policies have created a health market where the human being has become a patient/client that demands for a system of sanitary intervention even in processes that follow their natural course.
To throw light on the full extent of the current health system is the first resposibility that we have to assume; we can not continue to ignore or turn our backs on the real intentions behind the current structural adjustments. Health is conceived as a key sector within the capitalist system, the same that generates and chronifies diseases as part of its strategy, it being an extremely significant economic factor. The ill human being is a determining factor in the economy
s value chain of capitalism. To maintain the use of the health centres is a matter of profitability, and what is public doesnt provide any profit.
6.-What is the Cooperative Public Health System (SSPC)?
It is a model based on construction and participatory action as part of the individual’s human development in all its dimensions and as a collective process of the group. It involves a social investment in human capacities for people to be able to work in a synergetic and creative way in order to gestate a free society.
The conversion of patient-object (where the concept of disease is emphasized) into person-subject (where the most important is the human being) means a qualitative leap towards health as a right. This humanization demands creating emocional bonds among people in the active search of good assistance.
That’s why this system incorporates the figure of the Health Facilitator, which is a person with the necessary tools for accompaning another one in the process of building awareness of her/his life style as well as of the quality of life she/he wants to achieve, so that, gradually, she/he’d be able to self-manage it (it’s been two years since we started an education and training program based on this philosophy).
Quite schematically, these are the main features of the system:
-A humanization of health.
-A bio-psycho-social-cultural-ethical-spiritual model that gives priority to prevention and promotion of health.
-A system where the person is an active and resposible individual for the maintenance of her/his health.
-A unification of medicine according to the needs of the person and not those of the market.
-An effective use of resources: a reduction of institutions, technologies and medicines, except when they are really necessary.
-A direct involvement of the community in health matters.
To divulge this proposal we are preparing an Introduction to the Cooperative Public Health System, that’s one of the iniciatives that we wish to finance with this campaign.
7-How does a course for Health Facilitators work?
36 attending hours and 180 of individual workload. The learning process is a participatory-active one and is open to anyone who feels motivated by the proposal, without any need of previous studies in the so-called conventional or alternative medicines.
The methodology consists of: mentorship, workshops, seminars, laboratory practices.
It is divided in twelve modules that include a continuous non quantitative evaluation.
A new participant can join the course at any point.
Another aim of this campaign is to publish the Handbook for Health Facilitators of the SSPC.
8-How would a health centre be according to the SSPC model?
1) A person that comes asking for help needs to be welcomed in a quiet place, one that stimulates a close relationship. At the first visit, she/he would fill in a form configured from an holonic viewpoint (bio-psycho-social-cultural-ethical-spiritual) within the SSPC’s software. Thereafter, the person will provide access to the health facilitador considered appropriate. Unlike the oficial system, it is the very person that manages her/his data.
With this campaign, we also wish to cover the cost of the software we are presenting.
2) The person evaluates her/his lifestyle taking into account all the circumstances of her/his environement and, together with the health facilitator, they reflect on the possible changes that would approach the desired quality of life.
3) Once the situation has been evaluated, they will come to an agreement upon which would be the best strategy to follow. If necessary, the health facilitator will consult the rest of the team or consider refering to other centres, always taking into account the active participation of the person.
4) Health facilitators of each centre will meet once a week to share the evaluations made and the doubts arousen in each case, going further into the best way to accompany each person, coming to a collective agreement for each situation, and hoping that these agreements reach the person in the form of proposals. She/he will always be the absolute central figure in every decision making. Among the health facilitators there will be people with experience in the different medical schools (allopathic, eastern, natural,…)
5) The person that approaches the health centre will have at her/his disposal several options that will help her/him in her/his personal process. For example, AureaSocial, the first pilot health centre that’s being prepared to start up this model, already provides osteopathy, yoga, tai-chi, pilates, psychology, homeopathy, chinese medicine, quantum, dance, physiotherapy, polarity therapy,…
Other resources will be the dinamization of learning and mutual support groups among people that share vital experiences.
9.-How do we organize ourselves?
A Health Office has been created as coordination point. The office is an autonomous assembly-based organ that guarantees the development of the SSPC.
It is organized in several working groups that carry out tasks such as:
-Revising the SSPC’s philosophy and the general principles of the Cooperativa Integral Catalana with referente to health.
-Interwining and supporting the different health nodes in the catalonian territory that share the SSPC’s phylosophy and the general principles of the Cooperativa Integral Catalana.
-Managing information and developing a software in line with the SSPC.
-Promoting Participatory Action Research and health education.
-Communicating and spreading information on the SSPC as well as welcoming every person and project interested in participating.
-Managing economic and financing tools.
10.-What do we want to achieve with this crowdfounding campaign?
We want to raise the necessary funds for publishing 5000 copies of an information booklet on the cooperative public health system and 2000 copies of a usefull handbook for the task of health facilitators.
Furthermore, we want to launch the software that we need for managing the relationships among people and the different health centres connected to the SSPC.
With all this, we want to give a major boost to the realization of this dream that’s already making its way, this Nueva Salud (New Health), public and cooperative.