Health co-operatives are prominent in Japan. There are 117 of these co-operatives in the country, which involve:
- 81 hospitals
- 351 medical clinics
- 55 dental clinics
- 227 nursing stations that provide home care
- 375 home-care support centres, and 297 facilities that provide day-care services to adults.
These co-operatives have total sales of 280 billion Yen and employ more than 28,000 individuals full time. Further, they may expand into further service areas such as athletic facilities and housing.
These Japanese co-operatives emphasize prevention and health promotion and work under the
assumption that most of their members are in good health. The co-operative system also works on
issues of “health building” at the community level, including advocating for social policies and
working with the World Health Organization to create age-friendly cities in Japan.
These organizations have adopted a three-pronged approach to providing excellent care:
- providing high quality treatment;
- minimizing unnecessary consultation and treatment;
- and helping their members to be well informed and directive in the care they receive.
(Source: The Role of Co-operatives in Health Care. National and International Perspectives, 2008)