Home News and resources Worker co-ops in health care: Lessons from the field

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Millions of healthcare workers face low wages, unstable hours, limited benefits and challenging working conditions, despite being crucial to providing health and care services. The US heavily relies on for-profit healthcare businesses, which often prioritise profit extraction over worker well-being. However, there is a growing movement toward worker co-operatives in the healthcare sector that prioritise worker ownership, democratic decision-making, and equitable profit-sharing.

“A new collection of nine case studies involving 13 cooperatives, published earlier this year by Rutgers University’s Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, offers a close examination of worker cooperatives in the US healthcare sector. Three of the cases involved home care co-ops, three involved professionalised health practices, and three offered case studies of co-op efforts that had broader goals of changing industry structures. ”

In this Non Profit Quarterly article, Adria Scharf provides highlights from two of these case studies – one involving a physical therapy cooperative and the other a set of home care co-ops – to illustrate some of the possibilities for more democratically organised care.

Read the full article, Worker co-ops in health care: Lessons from the field, Non Profit Quarterly, 7 August 2023.

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