Worker co-ops in health care: Lessons from the field
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.